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Is your IT setup helping to close the digital skills gap?

Is your IT setup helping to close the digital skills gap? - Education

Most young people today can’t imagine life without a smartphone in their pocket, without access to the internet, or without a laptop to do work on. They’ve grown up using technology, and expect nothing less than digital excellence in all parts of life. This is a contrast to how education worked years ago, and offers all education providers an exciting set of new opportunities.

This digital gap is causing a rift in education and in the workplace. For example, it’s costing the UK around £63 billion a year in lost GDP; and lost productivity, caused by a lack of digital skills, is affecting the US economy to the tune of $1 trillion a year[1]. So, it’s vital that education and industry can come together to give students the right preparation for a successful digital future.

But teachers and staff have enough on their plate, without having to take on more work. They can’t be expected to do everything, especially without the right support.

We wanted to know more, so we conducted a global survey across all levels of education, to find out how digital is affecting them. You can read the entire “The Road to Digital Learning” research report here.

Education providers know what they need to do

It’s certainly not a case of education establishments burying their heads in the ground. 88% of respondents say tech is vital to creating opportunities to learn that are available to all[2]. And 92% say that it plays a key role in competing against other education establishments[3].

So, schools, colleges and universities know that they have a duty, not only to their students, but also to their own establishments’ success. 77% of education establishments would like to be regarded as digital centers of excellence in the next five years. And they’re making good progress: in the last 12 months, 80% invested in wi-fi and 71% in laptops[4].

Helping to empower teachers, lecturers and staff

Narrowing the digital literacy gap is vital if students are going to get the education and skills they need to succeed: 78% of IT leaders say levels of technical skills vary widely across their teaching staff.

There’s a clear divide in digital literacy in higher and further education. 83% of students have excellent or good digital literacy with only 1% rated as poor[5]. Yet 34% of teachers and staff are yet to pick up the more advanced skills[6]—which isn’t a surprise when you know how much they already have on.

And it’s not just teaching and support staff who need more support. Even the IT experts need help sometimes: 54% of IT departments say their key challenge is limited IT resources or personnel, and 51% say it’s keeping up with technological change[7]. IT departments also need help with choosing the right combination of devices, infrastructure and apps. 65% say this applies to them[8].

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What’s the future of digital learning in the classroom?

Schools, colleges and universities want to adopt digital practices. But actually implementing them is another matter. To achieve their aims, establishments needs to lay the foundations for a connected, secure campus. They need to figure out educational technology funding and investment areas. And they need to empower staff to use IT in innovative, engaging ways.

It can be hard to do all of this, on top of all the other tasks and responsibilities you have. Which is why 79% of respondents would partner with a third party[9].

If you want to find out more about the state of digital education around the world, download our research report, The Road to Digital Learning. And follow me on Twitter to join the conversation: @AshMerchant1.


[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/michael-oflynn/the-digital-skills-gap-ca_b_13482250.html
[2] The Road to Digital Learning, Fujitsu, 2017
[3] The Road to Digital Learning, Fujitsu, 2017
[4] The Road to Digital Learning, Fujitsu, 2017
[5] The Road to Digital Learning, Fujitsu, 2017
[6] The Road to Digital Learning, Fujitsu, 2017
[7] The Road to Digital Learning, Fujitsu, 2017
[8] The Road to Digital Learning, Fujitsu, 2017
[9] The Road to Digital Learning, Fujitsu, 2017

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