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Epson report: teachers concerned about edtech implementation

A report from Epson has found that teachers are both excited and concerned about the future of edtech

Posted by Charley Rogers | February 09, 2017 | Secondary

A survey of 1,300 educators commissioned recently by Epson found that 3 out of 5 educators believe tech will level the playing field for students. 74% of those interviewed also believe education will become more accessible to students through collaborative technologies. However, it was also revealed that 64% of educators feel that they are not equipped to train students with the skills they’ll need over the next decade, underlining the importance of upskilling teaching staff.

The research, which pooled the insights of 17 global industry experts, and questioned more than 1,300 education professionals in the UK, found that 72% believe that detailed understanding of technology prepares students for the real world. However, over half also believe financing is the biggest threat to education over the next ten years.

Educators also have concerns about how this change is implemented. 54% believe teaching quality will diminish as teachers are expected to learn and use more technology, and there is also a sense that classrooms should not be too reliant on technology, with 72% agreeing an over-reliance on accessing information via technology could lead to general knowledge diminishing.

"Our research suggests both enthusiasm and concern about how technology could help shape the future of education, and there is real fear that we could get things wrong."

When it comes to what educators believe are the greatest threats to education quality in the next 10 years, financing was the top concern (51%), followed by increased costs (37%) and teacher training (36%), highlighting the clear role governments and policy makers can play to ensure institutions can capitalise on technology opportunities and upskill staff.

Teachers are clearly recognising the revolutionary potential of technology, as 63% believe that the role of tutors is likely to change, becoming more about guiding students through the learning process than imparting knowledge.

Epson Global President, Mr. Minoru Usui said: “Our research suggests both enthusiasm and concern about how technology could help shape the future of education, and there is real fear that we could get things wrong. If our education systems are to reap the benefits of new technologies – from interactive projectors and augmented reality to robots – and lead the next generation of students into a future where the world is their classroom, then governments and educational institutions must invest where it matters.”

The research also saw four dominating trends that will shape and define education in the coming ten years:

•    Learning will become tailored even within a shared classroom, according to 72% of respondents. This is reinforced by the type of technology expected to transform education, with collaborative technology (for example, projectors) enabling blended and meta learning, as well as wearable devices, Augmented Reality and 3D printing ranking as the top most influential technologies.

•    Meta learning, where students are more responsible for their own learning, will become the new norm say 59% of education professionals.

•    More dynamic educational content will be the result of technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and collaborative technologies like interactive projectors. 60% of respondents agree that the collaborative education trend will have a positive impact on the sector; and 49% believe the same is true for collaborative technologies.

•    Creative collaboration will grow and be expected, as classrooms become more of a workshop for collaboration and group work, according to 67% of respondents.

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies.

The two-phase research project was conducted by FTI Consulting.

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