Social and emotional learning (SEL), staff training, and collaboration are all among schools’ top priorities, reveals a new report from global edtech company Promethean.
Budgets and student engagement are also at the forefront of discussion.
For the first time in seven years, ‘attainment’ was not first on the list of schools’ priorities.
The sixth Promethean State of Technology in Education UKI Report asked educators from across the country to share their experiences and comment on their schools’ priorities, from budgets to strategies and training.
The report included 1,580 participants, spanning across teachers, school senior management team (SMT), members, and IT staff.
Forty-four percent of educators gave SEL the top spot for their schools’ priorities, however few believe it will be likely to feature in next year’s spending.
Just 2% of schools said they will be able to invest in wellbeing for the academic year 2022/23.
Collaboration and communication were reported as the highest priority when it came to technology in the classroom, with the heavy post-pandemic reliance on tech pushing this to its highest level in five years.
Teachers reported unsatisfactory rates of adequate training and support needed to effectively utilise edtech in their teaching, with 55% saying training is lacking and 9% claiming they received no training at all.
Only 15% felt they received ‘full training’ in educational technology.
We must give greater support to teachers so they may continue to innovate through technology – Jim Wallis, Promethean
Thirty-three percent named teacher training as a funding priority, with budget and time constraints cited as barriers to proper guidance.
“I do my own training and upskilling in my own time,” said a department head at a North West secondary school.
Praise for edtech
Despite this, attitudes towards implementing tech within the classroom remained consistently positive.
Seventy-seven percent of respondents believed edtech to be a great tool in engaging students, with 76% agreeing that it enabled them to do their job better.
“Technology gives us a great opportunity to rethink teaching and learning,” said a London primary headteacher. “We need to have time to take this opportunity rather than rush back to just fulfilling the national curriculum.”
“Responses from our latest survey show not only how important the role of technology in education is, but how we must give greater support to teachers so they may continue to innovate through technology,” commented Jim Wallis, head of UKI markets at Promethean.
“We will continue to listen to the voices of educators and strive to inspire through edtech solutions.”
Educators reported the biggest trends for the future of edtech as:
- 61% said online content and resources
- 52% said online assessments
- Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) was seen as a ‘fad’
In the wake of the pandemic, more respondents anticipated that budgets (57%) and government policies (50%) will influence the future of education more than Covid (47%) over the next three years.
Fifty-eight percent of people also predicted that in-person teaching will remain the norm where possible long-term, with a blend of digital and analogue resources.
Regardless, there was a general acknowledgement of the lasting effect that the switch to remote learning has had on schools’ edtech usage, with 95% of respondents stating they are now better equipped for distance learning when needed.
“The facilities put in place during the pandemic are now ready to be used whenever required,” said one IT staff member.
Another primary head of faculty agreed: “We were well prepared this time – we’re ready should we need to go again!”
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