June 7, 2022
Juan Pavón: ‘The pandemic has been a real game changer in state education due to the widespread introduction of technology’
Ayesa has more than 20 years of experience in the education sector. During this time, it has participated in numerous public-sector projects in Spain, providing institutions with an integrated set of information systems designed to meet their management and administrative needs.
Since the pandemic began, technology has been introduced into education at an exponential rate. The need to have access to all the processes involved in education from home has driven the digitalisation of the sector, explains Juan Pavón, Head of the Education Division at Ayesa.
Ayesa is one of the most knowledgeable technology consulting companies when it comes to educational management. What solutions does it offer?
At Ayesa, we provide the public sector with solutions that seamlessly combine engineering and technology. The systems implemented by the company have allowed the administrative, academic and financial management of schools to be digitalised, as well as various services for teaching staff developed. Another solution that has seen technology introduced into education are digital channels, designed to allow schools and families to communicate with one another.
Can you tell us about the projects Ayesa has been and is currently involved in?
Among the many projects Ayesa has participated in within the education sector in recent years, SÉNECA-PASEN, for the local Department of Education and Sport in Andalusia, and RAYUELA 3.0, which involved developing and optimising the education platform used by the local Department of Education and Employment in Extremadura, both stand out.
Ayesa has also recently been shortlisted as a part of a tendering process in the Valencian Community. If awarded the contract, Ayesa will provide IT services within the area of educational management for the local Directorate-General of Information and Communications Technology. It has also been shortlisted to participate in an e-learning project in the Basque Country, something that would see it provide technical support services and develop the online education platform INGURA.
Has the pandemic spurred on the introduction of technology in education?
Spain’s education system has taken a great leap forward. Lockdown was a real game changer, as it forced people to use new technologies in all areas of their lives. Education was no exception and had to suddenly adapt to a new set of requirements. To a certain extent, the pandemic accelerated an evolution that had already begun. However, without it, what was achieved in such a short space of time would have taken years.
What has been the key to success of this process?
A large part of the success of the e-learning solution implemented during lockdown was due to the fact that it was so complete, bringing together all the necessary tools in a single, shared environment made up of cooperative systems.
Although these tools were already available to those involved in education, their use was far from widespread. When lockdown came, within a matter of weeks we managed to overcome an obstacle which often impedes progress when it comes to IT solutions: effectively introducing end users to change and getting them to accept it.
Could you tell us about the importance of cybersecurity?
There’s no question that the education sector has become a key target for cybercriminals due to the volume and nature of the data handled as well as its strategic value. Education authorities are aware of this and are doing their best to reduce the threat. Success in this area means having strategies in place that are constantly being reviewed, adapted and updated in order to ensure they remain effective in an ever-changing environment. Being proactive and agile when it comes to introducing solutions fully adapted to changing security policies is particularly important. A great deal of progress has been made in this area, but there is still a lot to do, not only in education but also in other areas of the public sector and even the private sector.
What other areas need improving?
In order to reach all students and foster the use of e-learning technology, it’s important we improve connectivity as well as everything that allows it to be accessed easily and securely. We also need to organise aware-raising and information initiatives in this area. Furthermore, it’s necessary to consolidate these solutions by investing in training for teaching staff and content managers if we are to offer high-quality education.
Do you think blended learning is the future?
This new educational model is already here. Although the introduction of new technologies in education happened suddenly due to the pandemic, we are now faced with an excellent opportunity to ensure all these new tools continue to be made full use of. The model we are aiming for is personalised, flexible and student-centric.
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