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April 29, 2016

IT Time Episode 8: Finding Balance in IT Innovation and Standardization in Education

Plug in your headphones and kick back, it’s time for episode 8 of IT Time! This week we welcomed Matthew Belardi, the Director of Business Information Systems at Education Affiliates. Matthew joined us to talk about the challenges that educational organizations face when implementing mobile devices in the classroom. Matt has many years of experience moving education systems from archaic platforms into true student information systems. He estimates that he has been to more than 75 schools across the country to affect change in learning management platforms.

Incorporating new technology into the classroom doesn’t just mean handing an iPad to a child; it also means training teachers, staff and administrators to use them, maintaining and updating the technology through IT services and keeping parents involved. Without all of those moving parts, the system breaks down. Matt explains that despite the creative, innovative nature of education, most school systems are in the midst of addressing those issues and are therefore around three years behind based on the devices they own and the programs they use.

Any interesting observations in the classroom?

Oddly enough, the importance of using print text (vs. an ebook) when it comes to textbooks or important reading material. Although it seems counter intuitive, studies have shown that students prefer opening old-fashioned books unless they’re reading shorter articles on a device.

Any takeaways?

Incorporating technology into classrooms is a multi-layer process. Educating a child using technology requires large budgets to purchase hardware and software, the development of quality products and platforms, training and testing, internal support infrastructure and parental consent and involvement—lots of moving pieces. It’s a complex system to penetrate, but we’re thrilled to see great people like Matt making a difference in our kids’ classrooms.

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