“I am always concerned that children (and educators) think that knowledge and information are the same thing. Knowing how to do things or find things on a computer does not necessarily make you well educated, knowledgeable, or smart.” Headteacher, Towcester
1. While educators are demonstrating a willingness to use technology in the classroom, there is a good deal of misunderstanding about what this involves. Technology-based lessons shouldn’t be about a solitary individual on a computer screen. Instead, edtech should be used to deliver multi-sensory learning experiences, which foster innovation, communication, and collaboration skills. In the bid to reap the benefits of edtech, a change of approach is crucial.
Takeaway: More needs to be done by technology providers and digital champions in schools to demonstrate how technology can be used in and out of the classroom.
“Technology should always be used as an aid in education. It should never be the only teaching method used and other skills should be developed.” Teacher, Alnwick
2. Only 24.4% of teachers are currently making use of cloud-based lesson delivery software, despite the fact that this technology can be used, not only in conjunction with all of the most commonly used tech, but also to increase the uptake of less popular tech.
Takeaway: More needs to be done to educate schools about the possibilities of using cloud-based technology; particularly as leading cloud-based platforms such as ClassFlow are free.
“Technology is here to stay, but we need to get smarter on how best it can be used to improve teaching and learning, and not introduce it for technology’s sake.” Network Manager, Saltburn-by-the Sea
3. While 0% of head teachers believe that too much budget is being allocated to technology, almost 70% of educators feel that schools are either not allocating enough of their budget to technology, or are investing in the wrong things.
Takeaway: There is a disparity between what head teachers think they are delivering in the way of educational tech, and what teachers on the front line believe they need to do their jobs. More must be done to facilitate communication between head teachers and staff to ensure the right investment in technology.
4. Faulty networks and out of date equipment are two of the main reasons for insufficient technology in school.
Takeaway: Investment is urgently needed to ensure that modern schools have the IT infrastructure necessary to succeed. Read more: How to make the best use of your school’s ICT budget.
“We have great hardware in school but the software provided or internet connection regularly doesn’t work to the point where both staff and children have lost interest. Even logging on is an issue.” Teacher, Trillick
5. A lack of funds has led to insufficient technology in schools.
Takeaway: Schools should adopt an innovative approach to meet this challenge head-on. For example combining free educational software such as ActivInspire, with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD initiatives). Likewise, free to use cloud-based learning technology can be used in conjunction with existing tech, with no need to pay for new equipment, updates, or maintenance. However, without the necessary investment to ensure a stable internet connection, any investment in new technology is likely to be wasted.
“The main problem with technology in school is that it is not looked after properly, and also that teachers are not trained in its use. We are expected to suddenly start using things that we have never used ourselves, to a level of competency above our students.” Teacher, Bristol
6. Fewer than 10% of educators believe that they receive full training and support when it comes to the educational technologies available at their schools. Likewise, while almost half of all teachers believe the level of training to be adequate, the majority of head teachers think the standard of training provided is either adequate or very good. There is a difference of opinion between teachers and head teachers when it comes to the way technology is being implemented in schools.
Takeaway: Providers of educational technologies need to look harder at how they can help head teachers provide more practical training, with easy-to-use training resources, such as videos and support websites.
7. 35% of educators believe that technology is making a difference to student education in 2016, with 43.5% of educators referencing modern teaching methods. However, there seems to be a lack of awareness by some teachers as to how technology can be used to enhance and support modern teaching methods.
Takeaway: Providers of educational technologies and digital champions within schools need to do more to demonstrate how technology can be used as a modern-day enablement tool.
8. Teachers are concerned over the threat of cyber-bullying and issues around e-safety.
Takeaway: Technology providers need to do more to ensure they create a safe learning environment for children. Or, where this is already in place, educate teachers on the ways to use edtech safely. Read more: Teaching internet safety in schools during E-Safety Week.
9. There is a lack of transparency and cooperation between subject areas when it comes to sharing best practice on how to use technology in the classroom.
Takeaway: Schools should look to invest in technology that facilitates whole-school cooperation (free cloud-based edtech already exists that empowers schools to do this). Likewise, head teachers must encourage educators to share ideas, lesson content, etc. to make the most of existing edtech, and remove some of the burden from teachers.
10. Understandably, there is a reluctance by some teachers to be available for discussions outside of teaching hours, with only 27% of teachers using online technology to do this.
Takeaway: With teachers already working at least ten hours a day, the last thing they want is the suggestion that they need to be available outside that time as well. However technology can be used to facilitate flipped learning – with teachers sharing lessons via podcasts, videos etc.in traditional homework time – and pupils asking questions and undertaking assignments in the classroom, with the teacher on hand. Read more: Why is flipped learning so popular in schools?
11. Newer technology is not being put to good use in schools, with equipment primarily used in STEM classes rather than being adopted across disciplines as a way to deliver a modern learning experience.
Takeaway: More needs to be done by technology providers and digital champions to demonstrate the real-world benefits of using technology in the classroom, across all areas.
12. While educators are using online technology to track pupil attendance and formal assessment, only a minority of teachers are using it to help them with informal assessments, planning and portfolios of learning.
Takeaway:Technology has the potential to become a powerful enablement tool for teachers. However, supporters of edtech must do more to educate schools on just how technology can be used to implement strategies and reduce workload.
13. A majority of educators believe that technology either hinders or has no impact on a student’s interpersonal, initiative, emotional intelligence, time management, teamwork, or leadership skills.
Takeaway: By integrating technology into the classroom and making it a core part of the learning experience, teachers can inspire engagement, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. With technology now a core part of the modern world, a change in approach is essential to ensure that 20th-century teaching methods align with 21st- century advancements in technology.
“Technology has made my classroom a fun place to be (for my students AND for me) for the last 25 years.” Teacher, Bedford