65% of teachers feel more confident using edtech following COVID-19 lockdown

While 31% see upholding consistent communication as the biggest barrier facing the phased reopening of schools

Almost two-thirds (65%) of teachers feel more confident using edtech following the increased usage of devices and solutions amid the COVID-19 lockdown, according to new research from edtech company Renaissance.

On top of this, 31% of teachers and senior leadership teams (SLTs) see consistent communication and supporting students’ mental health (23%) as the biggest barriers schools must overcome in their staggered return to campus. The survey consulted almost 600 SLTs, department heads and teachers about their experience of remote or blended learning since the start of the outbreak.

It’s clear that the rapid uptake of remote technology has increased tech-savviness among the UK teaching community, with 75% believing that online or hybrid learning will play a continued role in education post-pandemic, meaning that digital delivery methods will remain a point of focus across the education sector.

Schools should take advantage of these elevated levels of confidence, expanding and enhancing their digital offering so it’s of the same quality for all, regardless of whether students are at home or in school. According to Renaissance’s research, teachers have cited quiz-style learning formats that support instant feedback as the most valuable teaching tools while working remotely.

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To support the staggered return to school sites, the government has announced a COVID-19 catch up fund, while a number of organisations have expressed concerns about learning inconsistencies during the lockdown. In terms of student success, more than a third (34%) of teachers and SLTs feel that parental input will have the biggest long-term impact, followed by a quarter (25%) who feel that teacher feedback will have the most significant influence, and 16% who see personalisation as the best way to boost achievement during the lockdown.

“We have been so impressed by how quickly pupils, teachers, and schools have adapted to these exceptional times,” said Margaret Allen, curriculum and education specialist at Renaissance. “No technology can replace the role of a teacher in a classroom but it can help teachers to enhance the educational experience for their pupils, and effectively and consistently track their progress,” she explained.

Kate Jennings, headteacher of Mission Grove Primary School, commented: “Every school will be experiencing challenges as we try to navigate a staggered return to school. We’re determined to provide tailored learning and structure to every child’s child’s education and Renaissance’s products have enabled us to do this over the last few months. It’s been great how the products have been adapted to enable pupils to use them at home during COVID-19.”

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