With a spend of £450m a year, “edtech is big business here in England… we need to make sure that money is being spent effectively”, said Damian Hinds at Bett 2019. He called for schools, leaders and tech companies to “think in innovative ways” to tackle some of the key issues that teachers face. As part of shaping the edtech strategy, Hinds spoke of four key objectives:
. To go on road trips around the company to “bring the tech to teachers” to show what is on offer
. To enable schools to see “good tech in action” by rolling out a network of demonstrators at schools and colleges “to raise their confidence levels and skills in using them”
. To provide a “trusted single place… an edtech destination where people can go for products and services”
. And, finally, “a formed market place where people can buy with confidence and where it is more effective and efficient for sellers to market their wares”
He spoke of the need for cost efficiencies and freeing up money for resource, cutting teachers’ workload and enhancing learning “so more children can do better learning and reach their full potential”.
Specifically, he wants to tackle how tech companies can help reduce the time teachers spend on lesson prep, marking and assessment, setting a target of reducing this by 2 hours or more per week. He also wants to ensure education can “stay one step ahead of cheats” outlining that software exists to find and identify plagiarism.
“I truly believe we are on the cusp of achieving amazing things in education technology”
– Damian Hinds, education secretary