Less than 15% of educators at UK colleges and universities have time and support with edtech, a survey by Jisc has revealed.
The Digital Experience Insights Survey 2019 asked 6,500 members of teaching staff at 61 UK colleges and universities about their experiences with digital skills.
The not-for-profit education and technology organisation said only a third of respondents agree they have regular opportunities to develop digital skills and only 14% of staff in FE and 9% in HE agree they receive recognition when they develop digital aspects of their role.
Giving staff enough time to innovate, be creative and develop their practice is increasingly challenging.
– Prof Ian Diamond, Independent Commission on the College of the Future
In a foreword to the accompanying report, Prof Ian Diamond, chair of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future, said the survey calls into question how effectively the UK is tackling the digital skills gap.
“When you consider the pace at which technology evolves, it’s imperative that teaching staff are fully equipped with the knowledge and support to navigate an ever-changing digital landscape,” Prof Diamond wrote.
He also noted that “diminishing resources and the financial pressures faced across the tertiary education sector, giving staff enough time to innovate, be creative and develop their practice is increasingly challenging”.
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Sarah Knight, Jisc’s head of change – student experience, said: “At Jisc, we work with colleges and universities to review their digital practice, helping to create a technology-focused environment that works for all.
“FE and HE staff need the confidence and capabilities to embed technology within teaching and learning, to deliver the world-class experience students deserve, and to prepare learners for the jobs of tomorrow.”
The report highlighted that without support, educators fear “embarrassment” if they trial new technology unsuccessfully. One anonymised respondent to the survey said: “It is not enough to be given instruction on how to use new technology. We need to be able to try it out in a situation where, if we fail, it won’t matter.”