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Are schools held back by not engaging with EdTech?
These days, technology is king. Every industry is having to adapt to the increasing use of technology and in turn benefitting from the way tech can reduce manual processes, speed up tasks, and provide accurate information at the drop of a hat.
It makes sense then that schools are also growing and changing as technology enables them to do more things, more quickly, and more accurately. However, schools are, notoriously, hard to change. With so many staff, students, and often multiple schools under one trust, implementing change is somewhat like trying to herd cats.
That doesn’t mean change is impossible, or schools would still be stuck in the dark ages. But it does mean that schools require extra time, care, and attention when trying to implement new processes. And that’s not just because change is hard, but because it comes with risks. For instance, tech is expensive, making it an expensive mistake to make. In addition, schools tend to have numerous stakeholders, meaning there is a lot riding on even very small decisions.
However, there is also a risk of being too careful. If schools don’t adapt and keep up with the pace of change, they will find it even harder to keep up in the future. Plus, there are overwhelming benefits for the use of technology in schools that can, ultimately, improve outcomes for pupils and wellbeing for teachers.
What percentage of schools use technology?
According to recent research:
- 64% of UK schools use technology
- 55% of parents support EdTech
- 57% of UK schools involve students in the planning of technology use in the classroom
Clearly then, while technology adoption isn’t terrible, there are still plenty of schools not yet investing in EdTech and making it a part of daily school life.
But is technology in schools beneficial? And if so, what benefits are these schools actually missing out on?
Why do we need technology in schools?
- Creates a more engaging learning environment
Using technology in the classroom can promote an element of immersion. No more trying to get kids engaged with textbooks. Instead, teachers can bring subjects to life with engaging, colourful visuals. Especially as the use of tools such as virtual reality and gamification become more commonplace in education. And when pupils are more engaged and genuinely enjoy their lessons, they are also likely to be more motivated to learn and achieve.
- Reduces time spent on admin
There has been a lot of talk recently about teachers and other school staff being burned out and overwhelmed, with many even leaving the industry altogether. This is an urgent situation for schools to address as the workforce drops in numbers, but luckily EdTech can make a huge difference when it comes to staff wellbeing.
This is because good EdTech can automate processes, making life much easier for office staff. Plus, it can relieve teachers of their admin burden, and make it much quicker and easier to access important data so that they can just focus on what they do best: teaching.
- Improves pupil and teacher outcomes
UK schools that have reported an increased adoption of technology are also reporting improved pupil outcomes, higher teacher satisfaction, and a more efficient school system. In fact, the Department of Education stated: “State-of-the-art technology is bringing education to life… while also slashing the time teachers are spending on burdensome administrative tasks.”
- Increases accessibility
The pandemic was, undoubtedly, a great equaliser. Suddenly, everyone was in the same boat and the transition to home learning became a necessity. One group this particularly benefitted was those who, for varying reasons, struggle to make it into a physical school. For instance, pupils with disabilities and those that struggle with chronic illnesses.
These pupils were suddenly able to learn no matter whether they were able to leave the house or not. And indeed, EdTech has been shown to bridge the attainment gap by offering a more personalised experience better suited to all pupils’ needs. Clearly then, there are huge benefits to allowing pupils to continue to learn from home where necessary.
- Promotes parental engagement
Technology can be a game changer when it comes to parental engagement as parents struggle to keep on top of communication that can come in varying forms. Especially considering many letters never even make it out of a student’s bag.
A school-branded app, however, can enable schools to keep all communication in one place, provide a fuss-free way for parents to communicate on their own terms, and even provide translations for parents for whom English isn’t their first language.
Technology in schools: What the research says
Importantly, teachers said that the greatest barrier to using technology to support learning in the classroom is a lack of investment in hardware, software, and WiFi.
This is especially relevant as recent research also found that “87% of teachers believe technology can engage pupils with reading, writing, speaking, and listening, specifically in terms of motivation, enjoyment and confidence”, and that education should prepare young people for the digital workplace.
In fact, the survey found:
- Three in four teachers believe technology should be made available across the curriculum to support literacy.
- Teachers consider technology to have a particularly positive impact on boys, reluctant readers and writers, and less able readers and writers.
- Teachers believe technology can help pupils overcome barriers to learning by providing differentiated support (63.5%), opportunities for personalised learning (61.6%) and creating an inclusive learning environment (59.4%).
Clearly then, teachers are at the forefront of demands for schools to embrace the use of technology. Essentially, teachers are well aware that technology isn’t going anywhere, it is already well embedded into the fabric of pupils’ daily lives, and the use of it is only going to continue to grow.
And while technology can sometimes get a bad rep for being distracting, there’s a lot to be said for schools no longer trying to work against the influence of technology in the classroom and in fact working alongside it. Young people engage with it well, it can speak to them in a language they understand, and as we’ve seen, it has the power to improve educational outcomes.
EdTech gives you wings
If you want to experience the benefits of using technology in your school, click here to book an informal chat at a time that suits you. Alternatively, drop us a line via our enquiry form, or give us a call on 01509 221 349.
Whether it’s communications support you’re looking for, a custom branded app, a tech solution for parents evening, a school meals or payments manager, or a website update, we can help you find the right solution for your school.
And if you’re worried about the implementation process, think again. We understand the challenges of introducing new technology into schools, so we provide a comprehensive support service so you can be sure your school is in safe hands.