Here are 3 of the latest UK education and edtech news stories from June 2020.
Government U-turn keeps edtech front and centre
Edtech has become essential for learning continuity. “As long as schools have the right technology in place – from facilitating student collaboration remotely to providing interactive online content – the opportunities for remote learning are endless,” says Simon Carter, director of RM Education.
“A change in plan can happen at any time: whether it’s because of coronavirus, a snow day, a leak, or even a fire, schools need to have an infrastructure in place that means they can adapt fast to mitigate the impact on their pupils. And with the help of all the right technology, a robust training regime and a continuity plan, along with a support mechanism in place when needed, educators can do just that and be confident they can deliver the same high quality of teaching in the classroom and out of it.”
Many schools have indeed become more reliant on technology to bridge the gap during the closures, and that trend is likely to continue into the next academic year, too. To trial a new interactive front-of-class display in your school, you can request a virtual, remote or onsite demo of the latest ActivPanel Elements series.
Teacher training applications up by 7,000 year on year
According to last year’s annual State of Technology in Education report, more than 30% of educators believe staff retention is a challenge in schools, and fewer than 4% of educators believe their schools are addressing the issue.
Yet recent statistics released by admissions body Ucas show that there were over 102,000 applications for teacher training courses by 15 June 2020, compared with 94,810 by 17 June 2019. That’s an increase of 8%.
Secondary applications across England and Wales have risen by 12% over the same period, from 54,300 in 2019 to 60,730 this year. Schools minister Nick Gibb explained that “talented” people from industry were among those expressing interest in plugging the shortage of maths and physics teachers.
Vouchers for free internet to be given to poorest families
Thousands of families without broadband internet will be given vouchers for six months’ free wifi access in a scheme run jointly by the Department for Education and BT.
Nick Gibb, the schools standards minister, said the move was designed to ensure the education of the poorest children in England did not suffer because of coronavirus. Some 10,000 families could benefit from the vouchers, according to BT.
Wayne Norrie, chief executive of Greenwood Academies Trust, told The Independent, “remote learning and digital resources have been vital in supporting children’s learning during school closures. However, serving a high proportion of disadvantaged families, approximately 60% across the trust, we recognise the extent of some parents’ struggles to support their children during this difficult time, including providing reliable internet access.”
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