After the changes to education in 2020, the use of classroom technologies has shifted. Last year, the highest priorities for most schools were results and attainment, according to our State of Technology in Education 2020/21 report. From an IT perspective, the goals are online safety and safeguarding.
The research shows that tech is being used in more creative ways. This renewed confidence has encouraged 9 in 10 educators to believe tech and teaching will seamlessly combine in the future.
At a time when budgets are tight, there’s no doubt that school leaders and IT managers want to know that the technology on their roadmap will support the outcomes they need, as well as integrate easily within their existing infrastructure. But which tools are top of the list?
Will technologies support the pressure on IT staff?
According to our last report, the use of collaborative tools like interactive flat panel displays such as the ActivPanels, and tablets continues to increase, together with apps — all of which have seen their highest use rates yet.
More and more, educators expect edtech to foster connections between students and their peers. Technologies that encourage teamwork, collaboration and social skills will set children up with the soft skills to succeed in the workplace beyond education. But with increased pressure on IT staff to resolve tickets, support parents and roll out new platforms at speed, will there be a greater dependency on technology to streamline IT administration, too?
Next year, in line with schools looking for evidence-based procurement, will there be a higher number of educational-based and efficiency-streamlining tools available? Does that mean less funding for ‘one-trick pony’ edtech developments?
Which technologies will be left behind?
The use of mobile devices in schools has reduced in popularity over the last few years. Technology clearly has its benefits in the classroom, but unless a school is using it specifically for learning, perhaps with an interactive hub in the classroom, mobile devices are minimally collaborative. Some schools realise there is a far wider range of educational technologies than personal smartphones — or at the very least, they need more than just smartphones to meet pupils’ educational needs.