The leap from traditional local IT to the cloud in the classroom can be an overwhelming prospect for schools. To facilitate the process, a school needs the help of an experienced and reliable guide. Getech Education has a 30-year history of providing IT for learning environments, initially focusing on higher and higher education and providing over 20,000 devices per year and multiple support services for the UK education sector.
Four years ago, Getech developed a division of schools to provide a more cost-effective and collaborative set of solutions for schools than would normally be available through traditional IT providers.
Getech has developed solutions in addition to its infrastructure business (with broadband and Wi-Fi solutions), choosing to look at IT in the classroom through the goal of the teaching community. The company has developed its services, including Google domain setup, Google licensing, teacher training and support services, cloud filtering and e-security, around collaboration facilities and the learning and teaching benefits that can be gained from G Suite for Education and Google Chromebooks. . The company also helps to establish parent contribution systems, which helps the relationship between the school and the parents. This teacher-led approach and school service ethics have led Google to give Getech the highest accreditation as an educational partner in the UK.
No matter what a school used to be, Google makes it easier to import existing files. Assistance costs are drastically reduced and administration is also simplified. However, the benefits of learning and teaching are the most important feature of the transition to a cloud-based system based on Google products. The anytime and anywhere aspect of the cloud opens up the potential for a 24/7 educational experience.
Only about a third of schools have started moving from local IT to the cloud, making it a potentially huge and fast-growing area. Getech can leverage its knowledge to help literally hundreds of schools «access Google» to provide solutions that cover all aspects of a school’s requirements.
Getech works with HP specifically here, as HP produces high-quality products for use with the Google ecosystem, which are competitively priced but specifically designed for education. Getech can work with HP to create a complete education solution, rather than simply offering a competitively priced product.
To help with this holistic approach, Getech is working extensively with schools thinking about switching to the cloud so that they fully understand why they are making the change and what the benefits might be. Getech will work with a school from this early stage, by designing the solution and then implementing it, as well as providing ongoing support once the system is up and running. The cloud option is far from a system of drag and drop that simply provides a solution to today’s educational problems. Instead, it’s a dynamic, growing arrangement that gets new features all the time. For example, in the week of the BETT educational conference in January 2017, Google announced that two million more apps will be available on Chrome devices. G Suite for Education is constantly evolving and improving.
Getech aims to help educational institutions achieve the maximum return on their investment in IT, whether it is a reduced implementation of the classroom or an implementation of one-to-one devices throughout the school, while reducing complexity. Although Chromebooks offer the lowest cost of entry, the browser-based G Suite for Education is device-independent, so it can run on a wide variety of operating systems, not just Chrome. This means that a G Suite implementation can use existing school hardware. In fact, relatively low requirements could mean that older hardware stays viable longer, providing another example that moving educational IT services to the cloud can reduce costs.
That being said, Getech continues to maintain a thriving hardware supply business focused on everything from broadband, Wi-Fi and multi-touch screens to devices for students and teachers. Getech’s most popular devices are Chromebooks through its portal www.chromebooks4schools.com. With Chrome devices, the cost of management is much lower with the Google Apps Management Console, which requires a small one-time fee for each device. This allows all users to be centrally managed, including creating groups, controlling access to online resources, preinstalling applications, tracking assets and configuring network access, and features such as browser bookmarks.
Although capabilities like these are already available on-site with traditional IT, cloud-based G Suite for Education releases location links. Wherever the user logs in, they will track their personalized user environment, from website bookmarks to the suite of apps, content, email, and group membership. The student can stay anywhere and take the place where he stayed, with everything he needs right where he stayed last time. This frees them from the restrictions that IT can impose on their business and allows the computer to become a fully integrated part of the educational process.
The transition to the cloud may have associated risks, including a change in the IT management culture. But the benefits are clear and powerful. Cost savings can be significant; switching to one device for each user promises a big change in the way IT is used in the classroom; And there is a multitude of software and content available through the G Suite for Education ecosystem. With Getech Education, moving to the cloud can take advantage of all these positives, while keeping the pain of transformation to a minimum.