This is part one of five in a series of blogs addressing the five key areas where Edtech can have the greatest impact on British schools as outlined by the Department for Education and Education Secretary Damian Hinds on August 7th, 2018. 

In an op-ed article for the Telegraph last week, Education Secretary Damian Hinds called on the technology sector to action its potential to revolutionise British schools. Hinds extolled the possibility technology holds for teachers and students alike: “students are able to explore the rainforest, steer virtual ships or programme robots from their classroom, while teachers are able to access training, share best practice with colleagues and update parents on a pupil’s progress without being taken away from their main focus – teaching.”

The Education Secretary remarked that some schools were already taking advantage of EdTech innovations to great success. The accompanying news story on gov.uk  mentions Shireland Collegiate Academy as an exemplar of EdTech implementation in British schools. In the article, Sir Mark Grundy, Executive Principal at Shireland, explains ‘At Shireland Collegiate Academy we have used technology to support staff, students and families for a number of years’. CENTURY has been happy to partner with Shireland since 2017 to great success. Sir Mark Grundy has credited this partnership with ‘the progress 8 increase’ recorded at Shireland. At CENTURY, we know EdTech is integral to resolving issues facing schools today, like the workload burden currently placed on our teachers, and an innovative tool that has the potential to significantly improve student’s quality and depth of learning.

It’s refreshing to see the government setting out measures to ease schools’ ability to implement EdTech reforms.The Autumn Budget allocates specific funding for installation of ultrafast broadband at more schools making it easier to access this sort of technology. The Department of Education, working with the British Educational Suppliers Associated and the Chartered College of Teaching, has committed to providing schools with online training tools and free software trials. The Education Secretary’s point, though, was that in order to see significant proliferation of EdTech throughout the British schools system, the tech sector has to play a leading role  – demonstrating EdTech’s capability to revolutionise education.

The Department of Education has outlined five key areas where education technology can have the greatest impact. We will be discussing these points in depth over the next few days, looking at how we believe technology can produce these outcomes and discussing where we’ve already seen proof that, with the aid of EdTech, these outcomes are possible and worth working towards in as many schools as possible.

  • Teaching practices to support access, inclusion, and improved learning outcomes for all
  • Assessment processes, making assessment more effective and efficient
  • Methods for delivery of teacher training and development by upgrading educator support so they can learn and develop more flexibly
  • Administration processes to reduce the burden of ‘non-teaching’ tasks
  • Solutions to lifelong learning to help those who have left the formal education system to get the best from online learning