What do you think will be the main things we'll be seeing in ed tech in 2018?

Developments in technology have allowed the education sector to flourish with once limited resources now accessible by all those who require them. One of the key advantages to ‘edtech’ has been the move to unconstrained learning, enabled by the transformative nature of technology.

In 2017, we saw how technology opened up a world of opportunities for students as technological advancements enabled ease of sharing of information, open accessibility and collaboration, which were all once restricted to the four walls of a classroom. In 2018, this is only set to grow, classroom learning in higher education will become less of a requirement as students and teachers will access data and learning resources remotely via solutions such as Network Attached Storage (NAS).  

One of the key trends in 2018, is the necessity and requirement for academic institutions to ensure that improved IT capabilities and enterprise infrastructures are in place to create a successful digital learning experience. With technological advancements, students and teachers are expecting and demanding more from their IT and software vendors so it is essential that these demands are met to best support and excel the overall academic capabilities.

What do you think will be the main ed tech challenges in 2018?

The one-size fits all approach to storage solutions, currently being adopted by some academic institutions, needs to be dismissed and a new approach adopted. Higher Education organisations need to have both scalable and flexible solutions available, that can scale up or down in times of increased or decreased traffic loads. Therefore, one of the key challenges is choosing a solution that best provides a platform in which the requirements of individual academic institutions are met whilst also taking into account the mounting pressures, and limited budgets within higher education institutions.

One of the main technology challenges facing the education industry, and specifically IT decision-makers, is the on-going conflict and frustration surrounding cloud solutions versus storage solutions. While it is clear that cloud IT solutions are booming, the education industry needs solutions that can ensure security and reliability which is provisioned through network attached storage.

This leads on to the question of what happens to your data if you go down the cloud storage route. One key concern that may develop during 2018 is over Net Neutrality. If you are using a cloud service provider that stores their data in the US, not only do you face concerns about the US Government having access to your data, but with the recent legal changes ending Net Neutrality, customers may be faced with the challenge of major slowdowns in upload/download speeds, and the very real possibility of increased costs.

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