Teacher unwillingness and budget biggest barriers to edtech

A report from BESA has revealed that schools in England feel an unwillingness from teachers, plus a lack of budget, are the biggest barriers to using edtech in the classroom

BESA’s Edtech in English Maintained Schools report has revealed that teacher unwillingness, plus a lack of budget, are the main barriers to effective implementation.

The report shows that 39% of primary schools view unwillingness on the part of teachers as the biggest barrier to effective use of edtech in the classroom. This is the leading issue as reported by primaries, followed closely by budgetary restraints (35%) and a lack of understanding around benefits (31%).

Secondary schools show a similar problem, with budget concerns coming top of the list of issues for edtech at 40%, with unwillingness from teachers coming in second, with 33% of secondaries citing this as the biggest barrier to effective implementation.

Both primary and secondary schools’ reports of teacher unwillingness as a barrier have increased since last year, with primary schools revealing a 6% increase on 2018 figures, and secondaries showing an increase of 9%.

Quite often, academic research publications are not written for a direct school audience.
– Dr Alison Clark-Wilson, Educate

The report also shows that both primary and secondary schools are unlikely to consult academic research around efficacy when choosing edtech, focusing much more on in-house recommendations. Only 15% of primary schools and 9% of secondary schools reported using academic research when assessing edtech efficacy. Meanwhile, 43% of primaries and 46% of secondaries report relying on in-house evaluation.

Speaking to ET about why teachers may not engage with research, Dr Alison Clark-Wilson, principal research lead of UCL’s edtech efficacy group, Educate, said: “Quite often, academic research publications are not written for a direct school audience, so we are developing other ways to get the important ideas across in more accessible formats for busy teachers.”

Other topics covered by the report include the implementation and reception of tools such as MIS, LMS, and course content, as well as what areas of edtech are most in demand.

The full report is available, free for BESA members, at www.besa.org.uk/insights/edtech-in-english-maintained-schools-report-2019/