While IT managers have been tackling digital inequity, many teachers have felt overburdened by the challenges of remote teaching and tech access issues. It’s been uncertain whether they still see tech as a force for good, or if it’s just an extra effort they’d rather do without.
Will edtech usage decline if educators return to traditional teaching methods they find more manageable and reliable? Or do educators want to deepen their reliance on edtech to support their productivity and pupils’ engagement?
The latest stats paint a positive picture. The 2021/22 UKI State of Technology in Education Report confirms over half of educators (54%) constantly strive to innovate by using technology. As for teachers specifically? Most share this attitude, and 89% say their confidence has increased this year.
The foundations are laid to advance tech’s role in empowering teaching and learning objectives, but how can IT managers help maintain this momentum?
Move with the tech times
The edtech landscape continues to proliferate into a rich wealth of apps, platforms and tools — there’s a lot to choose from! Unless you’re staying informed on the latest trends, it’s easy to make less savvy choices which won’t deliver maximum value. You could be misled by overly futuristic fads or redundant relics when there are modern, purpose-built solutions designed to deliver your day-to-day school goals.
“[There’s] a lot out there to choose from and strategy needs to be clear to avoid being overwhelmed”
— Teacher/Assistant/Deputy Head, Local Authority Primary, North West
At the core of identifying the right tech is staying attuned to current staff and student needs. This way, you won’t waste staff time with gratuitous gimmicks, but can be guided by their preferences and unique classroom setups to find the best tools and investment options. It’s also fundamental to look for ease-of-use for you — like remote management and over-the-air updates — and teachers — intuitive user interfaces with on-hand support – to ensure educators can start experiencing the benefits immediately, as well as over time. Front-of-class tech, like Promethean’sActivPanel, provides both, supporting educators and IT managers alike in reaping the benefits of edtech from the moment of installation.
Choose trustworthy tech
For teachers to strengthen edtech synergies that streamline their teaching, they need stability and assurance. To achieve this, and to ensure long-term value and ROI, your tech needs to be durable. Quality and durability prevent constantly breaking teachers’ use patterns with frequent repairs or rollouts of new tech onboarding they have to readjust to. Likewise, you won’t be disrupting familiar features in the classroom which pupils become accustomed to interacting with.
“My priority has been to teach the students. It takes time to prepare lessons online and actually teach them. It does not leave much time for learning how to use unfamiliar and new technology.”
— Teacher/Headteacher, Online learning of all ages, East England
Instead, you’ll be facilitating staff and students’ growing confidence and trust in leading industry names like Promethean and the ActivPanel. And, alongside it all, you’ll establish coherent and reliable edtech infrastructure throughout your school — accessible across the staff body — as well as wise, cost-effective investments in the eyes of SLT.
Take it to the top
Your efforts, findings and results all need feeding back to stakeholders and feeding into an IT-specific strategy interconnected with your school’s overarching one. This means staff’s favoured approaches are communicated, carried forward and catered for, while issues are prioritised and combated. You’ll also help direct training to the right areas to bolster confidence and address weaknesses — 98% of IT staff had input or played a leading role in their school strategy this year.
Consequently, teachers will see edtech less as an SLT interest and more as a supportive mechanism they have influence in shaping. Simultaneously, SLT will keep an awareness of how edtech is working for staff and will be more incentivised to commit to it, building the value case and buy-in as a long-term priority.
What other positive edtech changes can you make?
The 2021/22 UKI State of Technology in Education Report contains insight and candid opinions across the staff body on their tech challenges and most popular tools. For a first-hand account of the areas it’s delivering the greatest impact and where it’s falling short, read the report now.
The State of Technology in Education Report 2021/22
Our latest report is here. Edtech trends, surprising stats and candid insights from thousands of educators. How many educators struggled to engage their students remotely?Read now