The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated remote learning for educational institutions of all shapes and sizes. While the demand for remote learning was undeniable during this time, you may be wondering if remote learning is here to stay. Research suggests that educators can expect the remote learning trend to continue. When students were asked about their remote learning preferences post-pandemic, recent survey results indicate that 46% of students would like to take some of their courses in a full-online format. In addition, experts predict that the demand for remote learning will continue to rise – they estimate that the massive open online course (MOOC) market will have a net worth of $25.33 billion by 2025.
As remote learning demands continue to increase, this may present some challenges for IT teams. Let’s take a closer look at the challenges IT teams face when it comes to remote learning and how to overcome them.
The top IT department challenge when transitioning to remote learning is implementing an ironclad cybersecurity plan. Inadequate cybersecurity during online instruction creates privacy issues for both school staff and students – the latter has become especially important since the pandemic. The U.S. Department of Education offers detailed guidance about protecting student privacy for school officials to consider so they can reduce cybersecurity risks for students attending class remotely.
School officials can take proactive steps to address these cybersecurity issues. First, they can take advantage of security advisory services, which allow cybersecurity experts to evaluate how they can improve security for remote learning and more. Once these experts shed light on cybersecurity gaps, they can also provide supplemental IT support – this takes the pressure off the school’s IT department by giving them the resources they need to mitigate cybersecurity risks. In addition, schools can also roll out security awareness training for school staff. This helps the staff understand how and why they play a critical role in cybersecurity for the school. It also arms them with the knowledge that they need to ensure that their students are also taking an active role to protect their personal information.
Inconsistent Network Connectivity
When a remote class is in session, the last thing you want is for the instructor to lose their connection to the school network. It can be hard for IT teams to provide consistent network access when they don’t have the training or resources to ensure that your technology is up to par.
If your school network is unreliable, you can supplement your IT staff by working with an MSP (managed services provider) that understands the best ways to increase and improve your bandwidth.
If school staff is teaching an online course from their office, they need Internet access that can keep up. Slow internet speeds can cause lag in video meetings and can be frustrating to both students and teachers. IT staff may not have the time or the resources to ensure that your school has reliable, high-speed internet.
Instead of relying on IT staff, you can help them out by working with an MSP that understands high-tech in education. The right MSP will work independently or alongside your in-house IT to ensure that your internet access is capable of handling the demands of a remote learning classroom.