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August 10, 2015

Tech drags education ‘kicking & screaming’ into 21st Century

SAS enhances its Curriculum Pathways solution but does education need to do more to produce employable graduates?

By James Nunns

Tech companies are playing an increasingly important role in providing tools and resources to education in order to improve standards.

SAS is one company that is looking to improve standards with the latest version of its Curriculum Pathways solution.

The company has enhanced its solution to be a personalised access point to tools, resources and apps in areas such as English, maths, science, social studies and Spanish.

Currently used by around half a million students and teachers worldwide, the solution will give users a customised home page that can be used to access personal history and favourite resources.

Making use of its analytical pedigree, SAS analyses the user’s activity and can then recommend other useful resources for them to access.

Paul Saunders, CTO of Dundee University, told CBR: "The key mission is to graduate employable graduates."

While this is the case, universities have come in for criticism from the tech sector for not producing graduates that are employable.

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One of the problems for Saunders, is that students are "time travellers," in their own time they use social media tools and modern tools, during education they are back to old tools like email and phone calls.

Saunders: "Universities don’t respond fast enough, we have a duty to provide tools that they’ll use in the future."

He believes that sometimes they need to pull people, "kicking and screaming" into the 21st Century with technology, "we want you all to collaborate, but you’re going to use Office 97," said Saunders, highlighting one of the issues.

Technologies such as that from SAS are aimed at solving some of the problems that Saunders is aware of. The company is including the ability to post ratings and leave comments on a resource’s landing page, with the goal of increasing collaboration.

The company has partnered its technology with learning management systems such as Clever, Blackboard and SchoolCity so that there is a single sign-on in order to increase uptake.

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