Research from RS Components, the global trading brand of electrocomponents, yesterday unveiled the teachers’ perspective on edtech in the classroom.
In a survey of teachers across the UK, RS Components sought to uncover the true impact of edtech on everyday teaching and learning, as well as whether schools have enough to invest in their edtech strategies. Among the report’s most shocking findings was the fact that over a third (37%) of teachers are forking out an average of £40 on edtech supplies to support student learning, but what else can be drawn from the State of Edtech report?
4 in 5 teachers now use edtech in almost every lesson
Gone are the days of the ‘sage on the stage’ delivering dry rote learning lectures in front of an ancient blackboard. The tech revolution is well underway and that’s evident in this report, which found that 79% of teachers now make use of edtech in virtually every lesson.
In the last 10 years, regular use of tech devices in the classroom have more than tripled. Back in 2010, only 1 in 5 teachers (20%) were regularly using tech as teaching aids. With previous RS Components research revealing that parents start introducing gaming consoles, iPads and shared computers to children as young as six years old, it’s clear that technology would seem a natural addition to a classroom of digital natives, and thus, we can expect the presence of edtech to grow as we move towards a more tech-enabled world and Industry 4.0.
1 in 10 teachers have never heard of ‘edtech’, according to RS Components
Shockingly, the report also revealed that 14% of teachers had never heard of edtech, with a further 36% saying they had heard the term but are unsure what it means – a sign that many teachers may be struggling to adapt to the rising influence of tech.
RS Components notes that a lack of training in newly-implemented services and devices means schools are investing thousands of pounds into edtech that fails to reach its full potential. With frequent school funding cuts making budgets tighter than ever, education providers simply can’t afford to waste money on ineffective edtech. According to the report, 3 in 5 (60%) academy school teachers believe they have not received adequate training and support, with over half (54%) of public school teachers agreeing with this statement.
How can our teachers ever maximise the outcomes of edtech in the classroom if they’re not receiving training in how to use it themselves? This should be a major focus in the education sector as we move through 2020.
66% of public school teachers feel edtech is underfunded
Despite their dwindling budgets, most of the teachers surveyed felt their school had received new, or had significantly improved, their tech devices in the last three years, with more than half (56%) citing improved learning apps and desktop computers (54%) in the classroom.
The survey confirmed learning apps as the most financially-supported classroom tech across the UK, with software (17%) standing at the opposite end of the spectrum as the least financially-supported, suggesting that comprehensive implementation of software for activities such as coursework is still a long way off.
However, not all teachers feel this way, with more than 66% of public school teachers and 60% of academy school teachers believing they do not receive enough edtech funding. This lack of funding is so extreme in some cases that teachers are plugging the gap themselves, with 37% of teachers spending an average of £40 of their own money on tech supplies for students.
The top subjects where teachers are having to spend their own money on tech resources are:
However, in spite of concerns surrounding edtech in the UK, a £10m government strategy – launched last year – has promised to reduce teacher workloads, boost student engagement and help level the playing field for SEND (special educational needs and disability) students.
With increased funding and training for teachers surrounding the implementation of edtech, these innovative services and devices have a greater chance of enriching the 21st century learning experience.
To conclude, a spokesperson from RS Components said: “With 4 in 5 teachers using edtech in almost every lesson, it is clear that funding for technology in schools is vital…
“However, it is concerning to see that over half of public school teachers, and 3 in 5 academy school teachers, don’t feel they receive enough edtech training, as this makes any technology much harder to effectively utilise in the classroom, potentially wasting government resources.
“Only a third of teachers at public schools believe there is enough funding for edtech, while 37% of teachers are actually spending their own money on supplies for students, meaning a lot of teachers are compelled to bridge the gap that budgets have left in edtech.
“While edtech is therefore well integrated into the current curriculum, more support is required, whether that be from public funding, or tech companies looking to inspire the next generation.”