Naturally, all schools are expected to set aside regular time for staff training, career development and support. But do educators think it’s enough, or focused on the right areas? We asked over 2,000 educators in our annual State of Technology in Education report, and the answers were revealing.
Of all the school priorities identified for the coming year, teacher training is third from the bottom, prioritised over soft skills and updating technology only. According to our report, only 11.5% of educators think full training is provided by their school.
Safeguarding training has grown in priority
Priorities have certainly changed this year — 2020 forced schools to rely more on technology for the basics of learning: setting homework, teaching lessons, communicating with pupils. Even before Covid, this greater reliance on apps and software in teaching can expose schools to more online security threats and data breaches.
It makes sense, then, that teaching about online pupil safety and general safeguarding has grown in priority in accordance with the use of tech over the years.
At the same time, however, BESA has released a report on ICT in UK Maintained Schools that suggests training needs covering e-safety issues are increasingly being met. In 2016, ICT leaders suggested half of teachers needed more training, which has now declined to a third of teachers, according to the report.
Why are fewer teachers supported with tech training?
Of all the support provided, worst affected is tech training for teachers, prioritised by only 1% of schools. But why has this type of training plummeted?
As teachers become more proficient with tech, noted in our survey, the perceived need is lower. At the same time, other goals around security have taken priority. It’s also worth noting that far fewer educators have visibility over their school’s training priorities these days.
Could tech training be improved?
The use of tech in teaching is growing steadily: most teachers agree that technology is instrumental in boosting engagement and even behaviour in the classroom.
As Simon Hunt, a teacher at Tottington Primary explains, the best way to improve teacher training on technology is to ask staff what they need. By having that conversation, it can empower teachers and other school staff to share ideas and train each other, too.
So, while teachers are getting tech-savvier, available tools are constantly evolving. The more confident teachers become, the more they want to learn. What’s more, ongoing tech training will be required to bring the new skills learnt during lockdown into the classroom, to support long-term learning goals.
Read the full story in our State of Technology in Education Report, available to view now.
The State of Technology in Education Report 2020/21
Take a look at our most comprehensive education report to date. Half a decade of edtech, teaching and training trends — it’s a report like no other, from a year like no other.View the report