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Edtech in 2020

EdtechUK's Ty Goddard maps out Vision 2020 that highlights next steps for policy

Posted by Hannah Vickers | January 25, 2017 | Secondary

By Ty Goddard 

There are so many reasons to be optimistic and to celebrate education and learning technology across our nation. 

Growing a sector is never easy nor is system-wide change; but, there’s an opportunity to grow edtech as digital skills enhancer, jobs creator and to contribute to growth right across Britain. 

When used effectively, education technology can support great teaching, sharpens useful real-time assessment, helps consolidate learning and opens new worlds in literature, creativity and the arts

When used effectively, education technology can support great teaching, sharpens useful real-time assessment, helps consolidate learning and opens new worlds in literature, creativity and the arts.

Government deserves praise across a range of digital policy areas. There’s also a key role for Government - not top down but facilitating, setting the conditions for success and nurturing partnerships across a school-led system, and supporting Colleges and Universities to use expertise for wider benefit.

EdtechUK is a strategic body set up by the Education Foundation to help accelerate the growth of our education and learning technology sector both nationally and internationally. Our dynamic partners want to understand, shape and grow this vibrant sector. 

The Education Foundation’s journey has been one of learning, exploring and experimenting. The Education Foundation established the Edtech Incubator - the UK and Europe’s first teacher accelerator programme. Our trade missions are dynamic, open and have UK skills, jobs and growth at their heart. Our community building events across the country are vital to growing confidence and belief. Our surgery drop in’s share expertise and advice. 

This ‘Vision 2020’ discussion document is a contribution to policy development and the growth of this ‘jewel’ of a sector. Our ‘white paper’ will focus thinking, debate and action on the next steps for the education and learning sector. 

Education technology is one of the fastest growing digital sectors in Britain with, we estimate, over 1000 companies, including major clusters in London and across the country. Support to clusters and ecosystem- building is vital. The sector is growing at a rapid rate globally – so, sharpening our export capability and agility is paramount.

The digital economy in Britain is a major source of future economic growth and there is good work going on to promote and grow this success from organisations like Tech City, Tech North, The Tech Partnership and Jisc. 

Education and learning technology looks set to be one of the jewels in Britain’s digital crown

Education and learning technology looks set to be one of the jewels in Britain’s digital crown as teachers, education leaders and entrepreneurs build new approaches, tools and platforms with growing evidence based approaches across the teaching and learning environment. 

A level of political upheaval in Britain after the Brexit vote may have dominated the headlines, but less visible have been the quiet but useful changes happening across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in terms of investment in the spectrum of digital skills, digital curriculum and digital strategies, allied to the explosive growth of the British edtech sector.

Government, too, needs to explore with educators and industry, how technology can support effective teaching and learning. 

There’s a dynamic sector that are the engines of change, but we’ll all benefit from a policy landscape that supports their ambition and harnesses what works for our education nation. 

Edtech Vision 2020 – highlights

1. Access and Infrastructure

Vision: Our vision is for UK schools, colleges and universities to be the most connected institutions in Europe with an entitlement to a level of high speed infrastructure and connectivity to enable access to knowledge, resources and help bridge the digital divide that can disadvantage students and their families. 

2. Data

Vision: Our vision is for UK edtech and the education sector to be the most open in terms of its application and use of data, including identifying ways that the National Pupil Database and other data sources can be made to be more useful so that they can be better used by startups, scale ups and the education institutions themselves to innovate. 

3. Jobs and growth 

Vision: Our vision is for the size, scale and growth of the edtech sector to be baselined, measured and celebrated in an annual Edtech UK State of the Nation report.

4. Digital skills and talent 

Vision: Our vision is for the UK to continue to grow its role as a world leader in digital education and learning to maximise the potential of the developments in computing, curriculum and strategy taking place across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

5. What works and Impact 

Vision: Our vision is for the edtech sector to take greater responsibility for measuring the impact of its tools, platforms and services and for sharing this emerging evidence base with education leaders, educators, parents and government. There are real edtech ‘areas of promise’ that will benefit our education nation.

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