AET is committed to ensuring that every student from each of its 76 academies can one day participate in local, regional and national economies, helping them to develop the skills and confidence to make a valuable contribution to the world. As part of this, the use of technology is vital in ensuring that AET can maximise educational opportunities. The Trust was held back from exploring the full potential of technology for learning as technical setups varied wildly across the different academies. Without a unified system, it was difficult to create efficient processes and simplified budgeting structures. This meant that each academy worked in a silo, both from an administrative and knowledge sharing perspective.
In the summer of 2012, AET adopted G Suite for Education, the web-based communication and collaboration suite available for free to education establishments. With products including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Sites and Google Classroom, AET saw the potential it would bring to classroom learning, better knowledge sharing across the academies, improvements in administrative efficiencies and in providing access from home for all. To enable all students to have access to the most up-to-date technology, academies have also rolled out many class sets of Google Chromebooks, affordable browser-based laptops, providing quick, simple access to the web.
“We did not anticipate just how easy it would be to make the switch or just how many opportunities the move to Google Apps would provide. In addition to enhancing our students’ education, we are also able to manage the devices they are using in a much easier way.”Chris Meaney, Director of ICT, Academies Enterprise Trust