2020 vision: edtech in 2020 with Rachel Ashmore

In the fourth of our series, Steve Wright talks to Rachel Ashmore, head of Promethean Academy, about what she hopes to see in the year ahead

Q. What should schools, colleges and universities be focusing on for 2020?

Thorough training in education technologies is a growing concern for educators. The annual Promethean State of Technology in Education Report, which surveys over 2,000 educators around the UK and Ireland, has shown that only 17% of teachers believe that they received adequate edtech training and support during 2018/19 – down from 55% in 2016/17.

Where budgets are stretched and time is limited, it is imperative that schools look at the wider support available when investing in education technologies in 2020. It’s not just about investing in effective hardware, but considering the software and support that will ease training pressures.

Q. If you could pinpoint one area of improvement for the education sector during 2020, what would it be?

Stories about teacher workload have dominated headlines in recent years, and are showing no signs of easing. Some 81% of teachers in our 2019/20 State of Technology in Education report said that workload was contributing to high levels of stress in their schools, up 19% from last year. 80% of educators agree that, if workload does not improve, they may lose valuable teaching staff.

You may also like: 2020 vision: edtech in education with Alexander Shea

It is widely acknowledged that the effective use of technology has a valuable role to play in easing workload pressures, but educators also seem to be more optimistic than ever about the wider impacts of technology on teaching and learning. 90% of educators surveyed by the Promethean State of Technology in Education Report 2019/20 agreed that technology is a great way to engage students in the classroom, while 41% of teachers believe that technology has a positive influence on behaviour.

Q. Is there a particular area within edtech that you think should be the main focus for 2020?

Technologies are constantly evolving, and there will always be new and exciting things entering the market. However, the primary focus in education should always be to invest in edtech that fulfils a purpose, enhancing teaching and learning.