A cautionary tale
When my mother first began accessing the internet and using email she was understandably cautious. She’d heard many tales of hackers and viruses, and while many she repeated to me were probably urban myths (apparently there was a virus that could cause a screen to explode) she was certainly right to be careful as she learned the way of the web.
However after a while she, like all of us from time to time, grew complacent. When I went to install new software for her, I saw that her version of the anti-virus program was two years out of date and had never been updated. This isn’t just leaving the door unlocked while you’re at the shops, it’s akin to leaving the door wide open while on a two week holiday!
This case is an obvious example, but it’s not the only way we can easily fall behind.
Upgrading software is easy to put off – even IT people are guilty of it. Yet it is a vital part of working with technology. Technology is constantly evolving at an almost exponential rate, and keeping up with it is important to any business. Far from being the exception, for education, it is crucial.
Why must we keep updating our technologies?
- The most obvious reason to keep up to date is for security reasons. Hackers spend months looking for flaws in programs that they can exploit, but so do software providers. They moment they know that there is a weakness in their system, they develop ‘security patches’ for you to apply, making sure that hackers can’t utilize it, keeping you safe. However, they only release these patches for the last couple of versions. Microsoft simply aren’t going to spend the money working on patches for Windows 2000 anymore. For this reason, having the latest version of your software helps keep you and your data safe.
- New features are also a massive benefit of upgrading. Developers are always taking advantage of improvements to technology to add new tools and options to their software, meaning that you can save time, work more efficiently, or simply do more. Many of these new features can add value to our product. In the world of education, being able to use these new features can result in new ways to keep students interested and make your classroom an exciting and dynamic place of learning.
- And let’s be honest, new technology is often considered the domain of young people. So by keeping up to date with the latest, teachers are able to show their students that they themselves are up to date. We all had that teacher at school seemed so out of touch that their classes were boring and uninspiring. Using the latest technology, especially those that students are already seeing on their phones and tablets, allows teachers to connect with their students on another level. More importantly, it allows teachers to ensure they are working with compatible software, so you can always see what they are working on.
- Making sure that we have the latest is also important in any competitive business, especially one that focuses on preparing students for the future. It’s important for us to continually be at the cutting edge of educational technology, and a key part of that is ensuring that we are using the latest versions of our software. By being at the forefront, we are able to better promote ourselves to our partners and potential new students. And our current students leave having used the latest, making their employment options better.
Upgrades are time-consuming but in the twenty-first century they are vital. Even more so for a company like Navitas, that prides itself on providing students with an education that will help them in the future. A future that will itself keep upgrading.
Updates for Navitas Core Moodle
For these reasons, Learning & Teaching aims to keep Navitas Core Moodle updated, so that it includes up to date educational technology that responds to both your and your students’ needs. In addition, regular updates mean that our system is secure and robust.
Every year, Learning & Teaching will release a new version of Navitas Core Moodle, complete with new features and functionalities. Each college will need to upgrade their site at least once every two years. This will ensure that you stay up to date with the latest technologies that can help you to put your classroom at the cutting edge.
For teachers and students, this will be a straight-forward process with little impact, other than a short period of downtime, and having fun with some of the cool new features that are released each version.