Once regarded as a slow-changing sector, the changes to education seen in the past 12 months have been remarkable. But are these changes a short-term solution? Or a long-term shift in pedagogical practices?
The pandemic brought with it revolutionary change — platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. Technology converted laptops into classrooms, and remote learning kept learning going whilst most students were at home. But, according to our research, engagement and motivation suffered.
When 2020 came, schools became entirely reliant on technology for basic lesson delivery. School leaders quickly identified where edtech has the most value. It gave educators an opportunity to focus on new tech skills, and to collaborate with IT managers and SLTs to bring their schools’ software and hardware in line with wider learning goals.
Are edtech tools satisfying educators’ demands?
According to our 5th State of Technology in Education Report, 43% of senior school leaders believe technology should be a greater priority than in the past. The same research shows that boosting engagement and collaboration with classroom tech has grown in priority over 5 years by 28% and 18% respectively.
But historically, the tools and technologies in schools haven’t always been fit for purpose. Last year, a third of educators admitted they avoid using school tech because the hardware is often unreliable.
“The use of technology in school at the minute is a frustrating affair. Much of the equipment, both pupil and teacher, is out of date or budget so performance is hampered. Where there is up to date equipment it is restricted by knowledge or held back by outdated equipment.”
Teacher/Senior Teacher, Academy Primary, North East
Could staff training and strategic focus be the answer?
Last year, when asked how significant technology is to achieving wider goals, over a third of educators (35%) agree some tech is indeed important. Over 22% confirm that it’s included in the strategy, but does not contribute to meeting wider objectives.
What’s more, no IT tool is valuable if teachers and staff feel intimidated or overwhelmed by it. But factoring in sufficient training and testing has a time implication, too, when teachers are already grappling with busy schedules and demanding workload.