Digital skills learnt during pandemic have set kids up for life, says report

Seven in 10 parents and teachers feel many of the skills gained through remote learning will benefit children in their future careers

Seven in 10 (70%) teachers and parents feel the skills children have gained over the last year of remote learning will benefit them professionally later in life, according to research by Lenovo.

After surveying 500 teachers and 2,000 parents with children aged four to 16, the tech company hoped to gain an idea of the sorts of changes respondents would like to see in the curriculum moving forward.

More than half (53%) of the parents who participated felt that education delivery had suffered in some way as a result of the pandemic, compared to 59% of teachers who felt that education had improved. Of these teachers, just over half (51%) say the heightened emphasis on independent learning has been positive for education, while just under half (48%) credit the flexible nature of remote learning for improving education overall.

As the current academic year draws to a close, it seems that a blended approach to learning – meaning a mixture of both on-campus and online classes – will be a big focus over the next few years. This is good news for the 54% of teachers and 47% of parents who said they would welcome blended learning measures into the future.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have put to [use all types] of technology within the classroom. Not only has the technology enhanced students’ learning and enriched the curriculum, but it has also helped to improve our staff’s knowledge of ICT to provide better education in a post-pandemic world,” said Ellie Wilkinson, a primary school teacher based in Oxford. “We’re excited to move towards a blended learning approach that combines online education with traditional place-based classroom methods and have already seen how it can shape future learning and make a considerable difference to children’s lives.”

“Not only has the technology enhanced students’ learning and enriched the curriculum, but it has also helped to improve our staff’s knowledge of ICT to provide better education in a post-pandemic world” – Ellie Wilkinson, primary school teacher, Oxford

The increased reliance on digital across the education sector has increased appetites for technology in the classroom, with three-quarters (78%) of parents and six in 10 (60%) teachers claiming they’d like to see desktop PCs or laptops incorporated more in the national curriculum. On top of this, 54% of teachers would like to see virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) have more classroom presence, compared to 41% of parents who said the same.

On the findings, Rich Henderson, director of global education solutions at Lenovo, commented: “The rapid adoption of remote learning has accelerated digital transformation at warp speed, creating radical shifts in the new ‘everything-from-home’ environment that will forever impact how technology is used in education. As a result, schools and the edtech industry need to utilise key learnings from the pandemic to maximise the capabilities of technology to improve online learning. The industry must work alongside schools to improve accessibility and accelerate the impact of technology investments.”

Lenovo is soon to launch its Digital Education Equity Programme. Working in partnership with United Way, the company will donate money, devices and employee time to support schools with technical assistance, digital skills training, careers advice and mentoring.

“This year we will also be launching our Digital Education Equity Programme to give more back to children and schools that need it and help close the digital divide,” added Henderson. 


In other news: Commission ‘dismayed’ at how much learning data is used for commercial purposes


 

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