School communities faced numerous challenges as they supported learning from home. The Government’s swift action against COVID-19 placed restrictions on our movement and closed schools in a matter of days. Overnight, schools and their communities not only faced the challenge of student internet connectivity, access to devices and concerns regarding online safety but also their preparedness to deliver curriculum and pastoral support remotely. 

These were (and are) not insignificant challenges. 

What’s great is that the education sector came together to provide solutions on many of these fronts (where possible). And while the ‘solutions’ may not have been perfect, those of us that support schools continue to wrap as much support around the sector as possible. Sometimes ‘our’ over-enthusiasm can be a bit much. While it comes from a good place, schools are often bombarded with offers from a range of online learning platforms all touting their ability to support learning. We know that this can be seen as helpful, daunting and confusing – probably in equal measure. 

At N4L, we try to stick to our lane. Which means it’s not our place to assess the learning potential of various platforms or services. We understand schools are different, they have different communities, pedagogies, and requirements that they will determine themselves. It’s simply not our job to ‘sell’ you on the merit of various platforms – and we’re not going to do that.  

But we do want to help. We actually can’t help it and we’re somewhat unapologetic about our desire to do what we can. So in the context of learning from home – and the ongoing disruption that’s set to continue – we asked ourselves, what can we do? 

Well, like pseudo-scientists, we’ve gone to the numbers. N4L runs the network that delivers the internet into schools and our data shows trends on internet usage (content) and device types. The data confirms what we all know to be true, Apple, Google and Microsoft all play a significant role within the education sector. Whether that be device, operating system or productivity/eLearning platforms, schools throughout the country (and world) are high volume consumers of the big 3’s products and services. 

We’ve also consistently heard the call to keep things simple. So we thought we’d do the same and ask our friends at Apple, Google and Microsoft to provide some basic tips, resources and information about where to go for help.

So let’s keep it simple, click on the logos below, to unlock the learning potential of these companies and find out where you and your teams can get support direct from the source.

This is free advice and support – with no hidden agenda. This is not about technology. It’s about you and your people, pedagogy and passion for learning, all working together to support learning – wherever that may occur. In the words of someone famous, from some point in history, “ask not what the technology does for you, ask how learning can be supported together” (or something like that).  

Stay connected and stay safe.