Technology in education: what you need to know

The education sector is changing. Technology in education is playing an increasingly important role in helping schools with their marketing and engagement to staff, pupils and parents. Whether schools choose to adopt this change, or fight it with all their might, our job at Cleverbox is to help our clients understand and embrace the change so they can truly benefit from it.

As technology in education continues to evolve, it will unlock further opportunities for schools to save time, cut costs, work smarter and achieve better and more measurable results from their marketing. The evolution of Technology has already brought a lot of opportunity to our clients; we can offer better online security, enhanced server stability and more features than ever before!

Digital user experience is the best it’s ever been and online visitors expect websites to load quickly, be easy to view and work seamlessly on all devices.

Let’s break down what this actually means…

  1. Websites should load quickly

By ‘quickly’, we mean in under 5 seconds.

Older desktop websites are bulky and often take long to load, especially on mobile phones. Some of the content may not display properly and often, people will leave before the site has even finished loading.

Newer, responsive sites are optimised to load quickly on any device. Often, modern websites use functionality called ‘Lazy loading’ where bits of the website are displayed as the page loads, so the website visitor gets to see content quickly, rather than waiting for all contents of the page to load before they can see anything.

This is a simple but effective way that responsive websites keep visitors engaged so they don’t leave your website out of frustration!

technology in education

  1. Websites should be easy to view

Trying to view a desktop website on a mobile phone is near impossible. With over 50% of all searches taking place on mobiles, there’s a guarantee that someone; a prospective parent, a teacher, even an Ofsted inspector, is going to use their mobile phone to look at your school website.

And when they do, their experience will be sub-par if the website is not responsive. They may grow frustrated. They may even leave your site and look elsewhere. This is not a great reflection of your school or your brand!

Some schools don’t see their website as a marketing tool, or they don’t believe it’s worth allocating budget to improving their existing site or embracing technology. At Cleverbox, we have a large collection of case studies that prove otherwise!

Whether your objective is to boost enrolment figures, recruit staff, operate a successful sixth form, reduce costs or engage better with parents and pupils, a powerful responsive website can help you achieve all of these aims. A responsive school website will raise your school’s profile in a way that no other marketing channel can and will boost your school higher up in Google’s search results too.

technology in education bishop justus school

  1. Websites should work seamlessly

The nature of technology means that most websites make use of ‘third-party plug-ins’ to facilitate some of their features. These plug-ins can enable images or video to work, they can help with logging in, adding security or even integrating email into your website. Plug-ins can provide a quick and affordable route to genuinely useful functionality for your site.

But, as technology evolves, some third-party plug-ins are being phased out as newer, better functionality comes to market. Older websites that rely on these plug-ins may see some of their applications cease to work, meaning the website needs to be upgraded to a newer version that better supports their needs.

An example of this is Flash by Adobe, which powers some of the functionality on our older Cleverbox websites. In 2020, Flash will be discontinued, meaning any Cleverbox clients who still have an unresponsive desktop website will be affected.

Read more about the discontinuation of Flash here.

technology in education plug-ins

How many schools have a responsive website?

At Cleverbox, about 80% of our clients have a responsive school website. The reason that figure isn’t at 100% (and we think it should be!) is because some of our clients have been with us for many years, so back when we built their websites, responsive website design wasn’t as critical as it is today.

But times have changed and we believe that schools who don’t adopt a responsive website now run the risk of being left behind, with technology that is out of date and no longer fit for purpose.

How can Cleverbox help?

  1. Free audit of your website: for any schools with an unresponsive website, we’ll compile a report showing you exactly which areas need to be improved upon, including some ‘quick wins’ you can implement immediately on your existing site
  2. Face to face meeting: to discuss what a responsive website looks like and how it will benefit you. We’ll also show you examples of similar schools who have switched to a responsive site and the impact on their school
  3. CMS demo: in an hour or so, we’ll take you through the new and improved CMS, which is included with all responsive Cleverbox websites. Expect clever features and time-saving tools you’ll love!
  4. Costs and discounts: All Cleverbox clients will receive a substantial discount on their responsive website and ALL costs will be detailed upfront – guaranteed
  5. Timings: Most websites are designed, built and ready for launch within 16 weeks. We’ll provide you with a full project plan and key milestones so you know what to expect
  6. Training and unlimited web support: we’ll be on hand to help once your website is live and there is no limit to the amount of support you receive as a Cleverbox client. We’re here for you!

technology in education website audit

If you’d like to find out more about website best practice, responsive website design, online marketing channels or anything else related to your school’s digital presence, we’re here to help!

Call us on 0208 466 7222 or email [email protected].