The use of technology for education continues to evolve and take momentum with large steps being taken to ensure technology is taught and used well in schools. This week the Government announced a £300m tender to build a framework to provide ICT to schools and recently Google Vice-President Alfred Spector took education technology one step further declaring that through the use of technology he foresees a future where schools could become a thing of the past in favour of being taught remotely using devices.
However, in order for technology to be a success in education, we need to involve the teachers who are beginning to feel a disconnect between themselves and the ever savvy digital natives turning up for school each day with different devices.
Now, it is not the case that teachers are being barricaded behind scores of dusty encyclopaedias and red journals, unable to control the classrooms they sit in. However, we must be careful to ensure that alongside the framework for ICT, comes the ability and support of those practitioners charged with using the technology on a daily basis.
Simply giving pupils tablets will not result in perfect scores as there is still the need for human elements such as overseeing and guiding pupils to understand the digital content and use the devices easily in order for education technology to be a success.
Additionally, the potential ICT framework will need to be flexible depending on the teachers varying abilities – this is not a one size fits all approach and so providing them with the means to comfortably utilise and dictate the terms on which technology is being used should be considered.
Some of the ways in which schools can combine digital learning with teaching can be through the following:
By Dave Saltmarsh, Educational Evangelist at JAMF Software