The spread of COVID-19 has forced millions of students and teachers to move their classes and communication online. With a full return to the classroom looking some way off for many schools, we have launched a series of dedicated Education Kits to enable, simplify and optimise the new ways of learning.

Surveys suggest nearly half of parents are dissatisfied with how their children have performed academically during the pandemic, while 70% of teachers feel students haven’t adapted well to remote learning. Even as schools look to reopen with flexible schedules and new measures in place, most schools will still provide hybrid or fully remote schooling for the 2021-2022 school year. Additionally, future shutdowns requiring full remote learning seem entirely possible.

With this in mind, schools are exploring how to better use technology to improve the learning experience. The ability to communicate and collaborate effectively is vital for any organisation, and schools and colleges are no exception. But access to technology, lack of funds for infrastructure, challenges in deploying tech at scale, and competence and staff skills all affect the remote learning experience. Poor connections, unsuitable collaboration tools and unsecure networks make online lessons less productive. Teachers become frustrated. Pupils disengaged. Attainment levels drop.

Staying connected and productive

In response to this market need, we have created dedicated Education Kits of integrated Cisco solutions as part of our Stay Connected, Stay Productive campaign to support and enable remote teaching and learning.

In primary schools the main concern is providing a seamless in-classroom learning experience when the schools are open, and safe and secure remote learning during lockdown periods. Data privacy is paramount, and a solution that is secure and easy to implement that delivers an exceptional experience to remote pupils and teachers is key.

The Lower Education Kit provides reliable network access, protects the network from outsiders and secures the WAN to other buildings and client VPN, while providing a secure, interactive and seamless collaboration experience.

Future-ready secondary schools

In a secondary school, alongside a seamless and safe online experience, schools also need to protect their network further as students and teachers alike will be connecting using their own devices and internet connections. Needs will be slightly more advanced, and this has been reflected in the number of solutions positioned in the Secondary Education Kit. Digital whiteboards can help replicate the in-class experience and allow students to remotely participate in the lesson as if they were at school. Our Secondary Education Kit combines Meraki, Umbrella and Webex to protect, secure and optimise the learning experience, both in the classroom and virtually.

Flexible financing for flexible learning

As education sector customers re-design their physical and remote teaching, flexible payment options can help them transition to a secure and remote approach by investing in Cisco’s solutions. Financing can help them access the hardware, software and services they need, while preserving cash and existing credit lines. Customers can take advantage of as low as 0% interest rates and no upfront costs, while you get paid up front.

The future of IT in education

The COVID-19 crisis and the pivot to remote working have highlighted how important technology is in times of change and uncertainty. With our Education Kits, you can go beyond just creating new, exciting and innovative tools, to making digital learning safe, accessible and engaging – both inside and outside the classroom. Above all, these are a scalable solution to give teachers and pupils access to optimised technology for use in the physical classroom and remotely.

Find out more about our Education Kits 

Part of the SCSP blog series