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Education news roundup – September/October 2020

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Here are four of the latest UK education and edtech news stories from September and October 2020.

‘The relationship between technology and pedagogy will intensify over the next few decades’

‘There is scope for technologies to shape children’s learning and engagement experiences’, according to this Education Technology interview with Dr Aspa Baroutsis, postdoctoral research fellow at the Griffith Institute for Educational Research.

Dr Baroutsis believes tech can be both an educational driver and accelerator, ‘enabling children and young people to become curious and engaged.’ She posits tech and pedagogy are ‘complementary’ and the importance of their relationship will evolve in the next 10 years.

It may even be sooner, according to the 2020/21 UKI State of Technology in Education Report. The survey revealed 90% of educators believe technology and teaching will combine over the next few years. Make a strong future edtech investment with the best front-of-class display — request an ActivPanel demo to explore the benefits.

Schools’ edtech uptake soared by 131% this year, driven by COVID-19

Also following the findings of the State of Technology in Education Report, this Education Technology article reports on the trend of growing edtech engagement: ‘the adoption of educational technology has soared by 131% this year compared to the whole of 2019, as the March school closures enforced to prevent the spread of coronavirus drove the accelerated uptake of digital education platforms (DEPs).’

‘Last year, AdEPT Education established a total of 258 schools on its platforms, but by 15 September 2020, that number had more than doubled to 595 schools.’ The article reflects on the legacy of lockdown which has renewed the value of edtech: ‘the pandemic has transformed the UK school experience, emphasising the system’s growing desire for digital transformation.’

David Bealing, from AdEPT Education, noted how edtech enables schools to do more: “Many schools have already seen how DEPs can be extremely valuable tools for remote teaching and learning. But we can already see how they can be useful beyond lockdown and we hope to help many more schools with these platforms in the future.” 

Remote learning ‘fills teachers with dread’

This Tes article corroborates teacher’s concerns and the findings of Teacher Tapp’s staff survey over lockdown

‘Half of teachers and leaders anxious about delivering distance lessons if schools have to close,’ finds the Tes survey of 10,000 staff. ‘One in five teachers and school leaders says the prospect of delivering remote lessons during a lockdown fills them with dread. And a further 31% said they were “worried” at the prospect.’

The survey identifies issues around tech access and lacking the basic facilities for teaching, confirming the importance of the classroom environment: ‘A quarter say they do not have access to the technology and equipment they need for effective remote teaching.’ One teacher explained how remote teaching isn’t an adequate alternative due to “the additional workload that comes with online teaching, and the fact you can’t gauge understanding because you often can’t see the students.”

Only 34% of UK pupils felt motivated to learn remotely throughout lockdown, according to study

Reaffirming the importance of edtech in rectifying the disruption of lockdown, this Education Technology article shares a study of more than 11,000 UK students, most of whom felt ‘neutral or that they were actively disinterested’ in learning.

The report asserts that ‘schools can maximise edtech potential in a home or hybrid learning environment.’ It suggests investment in ‘research-informed tools which drive engagement through real-time feedback and gamification, while also supporting pupil autonomy, will likely have the most positive impact on student outcomes and teacher workloads.’

Indeed, the report stresses how staff also struggled: ‘The teacher workload crisis has also been impacted, with working hours surging by 60-65% as a result of the pandemic.’ Find out how edtech can boost both teacher productivity and student attainment.

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