Digital channels clearly have a role to play in bridging the gaps between education providers and students, with 84 per cent of respondents saying that schools and universities should provide more remote and distance learning services. This is particularly important in a country like Scotland where students can be dispersed across large geographical areas, including island locations. Attainment can fall behind that of students in larger urban conurbations where accessing education services is more straightforward; recent data from the European Parliamentary Research Service found that schools in remote Scottish communities face a teaching shortage.
Connected technologies have the potential to remove many of the barriers that can restrict students’ learning in difficult-to-reach areas, and to improve accessibility for all. At the same time, in the physical classroom, technology can be used to improve the student experience by better connecting teachers, students and learning materials. In the report, we hear from The University of the Highlands and Islands (Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean) on how it is using technology to deliver courses across 70 learning centres. SWAN partner, Ajenta, also features – discussing how video collaboration can support education.
The report also looks at the innovations that people in Scotland want and are willing to adopt, as the buzz around the ‘smart classroom’ and the ‘smart campus’ continues to grow. Finally, it discusses how smart education initiatives can be rolled out successfully; including the development of a technology infrastructure with the bandwidth and scale to benefit pupils across all of Scotland, by connecting the ‘last 20 per cent’. Jack Anderson, the Head of Digital & Innovation for SWAN at Capita, also comments on why equal access to education is vital for a tech-driven future for Scotland.
To download the latest report, visit https://go.capita-it.com/connectededucation. The first report in this series explored IoT and smart tech in healthcare and can be accessed here. The second looked at the digitisation of local government services and can be accessed here.
 Realising Scotland's full potential in a digital world: a digital strategy for Scotland, Scottish Government, 22 Mar 2017
 Teacher shortages in remote Scotland among worst in Europe, The Times, 19 Oct 2019Download the report