The shift to e-learning has changed education for good. Students and educators now expect anytime, anywhere access to their learning environments and are increasingly demanding access to modern, cloud-based technologies that enable them to work flexibly, cut down their workloads, and reach their full academic potential.

This means that institutions need to take a holistic approach to education technology (EdTech), including platforms used for teaching and learning, to not only meet these demands but to address ever-present challenges such as student success, retention, accessibility, and educational integrity.

However, for many embarking on this digital transformation journey and looking to more fully embrace EdTech, it can be daunting. Not only are IT leaders often faced with issues related to cost, infrastructure and security, but some solutions can make it challenging for schools to deliver inclusive, consistent educational experiences to all of their students. 

For example, some solutions may require an upheaval of existing tools and infrastructure, placing a strain on already-busy IT teams. Technology leaders are also looking to ensure the security of their schools’ digital ecosystem and that educators and students receive sufficient training in order to use these tools in the classroom.

Other EdTech solutions offer a one-size-fits-all approach to education, making it difficult for some students to keep up with online learning and for educators to adapt to pupils’ different needs. Similarly, while some solutions enable teachers and students to work and learn remotely, they struggle to adapt to hybrid teaching models.

Anthology’s learning management system (LMS), Blackboard Learn, takes a different approach. Designed to make the lives of educators and learners easier, Blackboard Learn creates experiences that are informed and personalised to support learning, teaching, and leading more effectively.

With students and teachers alike demanding more flexibility, Blackboard Learn can be used to replace or to supplement traditional face-to-face classes, enabling institutions to recognise the full benefits of a hybrid environment while ensuring nobody is left behind. For example, by providing personalised learning experiences, students are empowered to learn on-the-go and in ways that best meet their individual needs, ensuring educators can deliver inclusive, consistent experiences for learners of all abilities.

It also allows students to gain independence and become more autonomous. By providing real-time, data-driven insights, learners can keep track of their own progress, identify next steps, and get the support they need when they need it. These insights also enable educators to identify disengaged or struggling learners sooner to help promote more positive outcomes for students, while Blackboard’s customisable feedback ensures all students are on track for assessment success.

Anthology’s LMS can make life easier for IT leaders, too. The SaaS application code was built with security and privacy in mind and is LMS agnostic, ensuring seamless integration into the learning management system and existing workflows. What’s more, by using Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, institutions benefit from continuous deliverability of smaller updates – which require zero downtime.

This also means that Anthology has the agility to develop capabilities and features quickly, such as its built-in accessibility and plagiarism tools. Because these features are out-of-the-box, institutions can save money while benefitting from a streamlined, scalable EdTech stack that can continue to evolve as they do.

With Blackboard Learn by Anthology, educators can rest assured they have the foundation of an EdTech ecosystem that equips all students and teachers with the flexibility to create more personalised learning experiences that support student success, while improving efficiency and setting their institution up for what’s to come in higher education.

For more insights into understanding student expectations, click here to read Anthology’s whitepaper.

Artificial Intelligence, Education and Training Software

Enterprise organizations have faced a compendium of challenges, but today it seems like the focus is on three things: speed, speed, and more speed. It is all about time to value and application velocity — getting applications delivered and then staying agile to evolve the application as needs arise.

In order to get maximum speed, the first requirement is to make developers maximally productive. They can’t be if they don’t have the tools they need, are waiting for someone else to set up their environment, or have to get up-to-speed on a new environment. And it is irritating as well. For many, cloud services are the antidote to these inefficiencies.

Getting the technology you want with less hassle

Cloud services — functionality that is hosted and managed in the cloud — provide a clean separation of the service’s features and effort that goes into administering the service. They provide the best of both worlds if you are looking at them through the lens of a development team under pressure — they provide the technology you want with none of the hassles of acquiring hardware, managing uptime, or updating software.

Another big win is that cloud services are available almost immediately — no waiting around for installation and configuration. The icing on the cake is that cloud services may be cheaper in the long run because you only pay for what you use. No more shelfware!

There are a lot of cloud services out there — some come from the cloud providers themselves, and some come from vendors like us. Far from being competitive, it is a very complementary situation. We provide a different experience.

Red Hat is all about ensuring a consistent and curated user experience across hybrid-cloud environments for development and DevOps teams, which is all good with the hyperscalers. At the end of the day, they just want to sell clouds, and the more options for users means more cloud consumption.

Which cloud service is right for your environment?

Another dimension of choice is flexibility versus velocity. Some teams want to have access to every knob and dial to address edge cases and use every ounce of knowledge they have about the internal workings of the services.

At the other end of the spectrum are teams that want no part in the details, and want someone else (someone experienced) to just make those decisions so they can focus on developing business applications. At Red Hat, we target our self-managed products at the first group, and our cloud services at the second group.

Let me give you some specifics:

Consider container platforms — Kubernetes has won the war as the underlying technology of choice, but it is anything but easy to build out the stack and manage. Kubernetes is powerful, but it can be like trying to fly a rocket ship if you have to administer it. We offer cloud services that come in “curated” configurations, where we make certain decisions about settings and the ecosystem. Our goal with these cloud services is to make using technology (like Kubernetes) more like driving an automatic automobile.Or consider our API management service — Our users, for example, do not get to select the underlying database. In most situations, users don’t want to, and they are happy to have someone else take care of it.Or consider our streaming data Kafka service — Those who have used Apache Kafka know that you need more than just the broker to build applications. You need interfaces, metrics, monitoring, discovery, connectors, and more. We have made (informed) decisions about which projects to include and how. We use our experience to deliver a curated Kafka experience that makes Kafka much easier and more efficient to use.And also, consider the hosted and managed AI/ML service — Businesses strive to inject intelligence into enterprise apps to eke out additional competitive advantage, but not every organization is prepared to build their own AI/ML engine.

Benefits for the whole team

While the developer is an important user of cloud services, there are other members of the organization who benefit from cloud services. IT ops professionals benefit because much of the complexity of standing up these technologies is removed, and the line of business leaders, who care about achieving business outcomes quickly and cutting costs, recognize that keeping developers and IT ops happy and productive is the fastest means to an end. When using Red Hat cloud services, DevOps teams also benefit from being able to create CI/CD pipelines once, and have them run across all clouds — public and private.

With so many teams looking to build new applications, or modernize existing ones, the only question left is how to get started. Another beauty of cloud services is that they are already there just waiting for you to connect and try them out. There is no need to install, host or configure. And which cloud service should you start with? I would suggest a foundational service such as Red Hat OpenShift API Management, Red Hat OpenShift Streams for Apache Kafka, or Red Hat OpenShift Data Science.

Cloud Computing