Guest blog by Alan Thompson, Managing Director of hi-impact consultancy, a provider of innovative technology and media services across the education sector, highlighting the top five reasons why reliable, affordable connectivity provided by LCR Connect will benefit schools across the Liverpool City Region.
Over the last year, LCR Connect has created a significant buzz in the Liverpool City Region – promising a complete overhaul of internet provision through the installation of a cutting edge 212km full-fibre, gigabit-capable network infrastructure. An undertaking which, despite its enormity, gets closer to completion in 2023 each day.
Amongst those feeling acutely optimistic about this progress are those in the education sector, with many schools throughout the area already rejoicing in the knowledge that a reliable, affordable, and incredibly efficient internet solution will soon be on their doorsteps
As our fellow teachers sit alongside us and eagerly await this exciting change, we would like to use this opportunity to discuss the most significant ways LCR Connect will benefit schools across the region:
- Encourages further integration of technology in the classroom – a key aspect of education which LCR Connect will improve is the reliability of classroom technology. Utilising its vast cabling network and its gigabit-capable infrastructure, LCR Connect will overcome the challenges currently experienced. For example, patchy connections delivering slow and unreliable upload and download times. With teachers no longer forced to rely on subpar services, they will undoubtedly feel more willing to shape their lesson plans around online resources and technology. This will be an interesting development for both schools and our hi-impact consultants; providing us with additional opportunities to utilise our more advanced online equipment in classrooms and workshops.
- Enhances the curriculum – LCR Connect represents a significant step forward in helping schools enhance their education provision – aiming to grant teachers the internet speed, power, and security they require to utilise equipment and access resources which their previous internet service would not allow. Whether it’s maintaining a stable school-wide connection for distance learning, or establishing a feedback video loop for hundreds of VR headsets – we, at hi-impact, are incredibly excited by how full fibre will unleash technological opportunities for schools and pupils.
- Bespoke Pricing – Utilising the full fibre connection to its greatest potential, the Liverpool City Region can offer bespoke packages which will offer schools the ability to limit the amount of data they receive. In addition to saving money, full fibre also ensures all packages are future-proof and can be adjusted to decrease or increase bandwidth at any time without additional instalments – it’s exactly the kind of financial flexibility schools need in an uncertain economic environment.
- Digital Literacy – Digital literacy has evolved far beyond simply being a preferred skill on a job application. It is an absolute necessity in almost every industry, as well as day-to-day life. As students’ progress through their education – from primary school to university – the majority of classes, homework, and research will continue to be conducted online . So, how will schools with a poor standard of online connectivity, schools which cannot embrace educational technology to its fullest extent, provide their students with the skills required to survive in these more demanding learning environments? LCR Connect brings us all a significant step closer to answering this dilemma. Thanks to the 212km network spanning across the region, schools will be provided with a supremely enhanced internet speed – quicker, robust and reliable, making it more dependable than they’ve had to rely on in the past. The days of volatile Wi-Fi or fragile hotspot connections dictating lesson plans are over, and that’s good news for everybody!
- Provides students with collaborative opportunities – Amongst the many life skills we learn in school, very few are as important as teamwork. Whether it’s in the workplace, at home, or with a room full of strangers; the ability to listen, grow, and collaborate with others remains one of the most important life skills we possess. Thanks to LCR Connect, the opportunities to further develop these skills will soon become far more accessible – with new technologies. It provides students with the means to share documents reliably and efficiently with teachers and peers, remotely edit presentations for group projects, and even collaborate with classes from different schools without a hitch. The world is now their oyster! The growth of internet-based learning, once seen as a weakness, will provide the potential to widen participation.
With the full fibre project estimated to finish by early 2023, we at hi-impact are very eager to see the Liverpool City Region’s schools benefit from the new digital infrastructure. Our Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has invested in our digital infrastructure as he has seen the benefits and believes gigabit-capable connectivity underpins our future prosperity.
With its capability to not only strengthen internet provision, but also enhance it beyond anything we have seen in the Liverpool City Region to date – it’s incredibly hard not to get excited about the potential opportunities it will provide to schools. One thing we can tell you with absolute certainty – we’re here to help guide schools to a better future!