Published by Sarah Timmis on 28 June 2018
- Our Work
- The Reformer Blog
2 July 2018
As we continue unearthing the powers of technology and reaping the benefits it has gifted to us, it’s no wonder that the power of tech has finally been harnessed by educators. Teaching, learning and general school management have all benefited from EdTech enhancements, all of which have a positive impact on pupil outcomes.
In my personal experience, there hasn’t been much literature or opinion on the impact of EdTech on raising pupil attainment or better outcomes for students because this is hard to quantify – however, the improvement in outcomes are not always a direct result of a piece of software, they’re an indirect benefit that come from wider school improvement.
Any EdTech initiative that makes accessing information quicker, frees up teacher time, provides transparency or increases parental engagement will have a positive impact on students’ learning in one way or another, via a broader school improvement. By alleviating some of the stress teachers feel by reducing their workload, automating a manual task or helping to present teaching in a more engaging way, they are able to better focus on their job of teaching students and raising outcomes.
The aim with EdTech is never to replace the teacher, it’s to provide them with superpowers, so they can actually do all the work that is required of them to the best standard. The rise and creation of EdTech comes at a pertinent time, one where we are amidst a crisis where teachers are overworked, stressed and aren’t able to spend the majority of their time doing the task they want to – which is to teach. By breaking down some of the barriers between teachers and teaching, technology allows them to both teach and utilise the information and connectivity EdTech has to offer.
The use of EdTech in schools makes it easy for teachers to personalise learning for their students’ individual needs and can provide them with quicker access to trends, both positive and negative, in learning. One of the greatest benefits of EdTech is the ability to collect and display data relevant to student learning outcomes so teachers can make clear and effective decisions on how best to make school and classroom improvements that will have the greatest benefits to student outcomes.
There are of course, criticisms surrounding the use of EdTech in teaching and learning and these usually manifest around internet connectivity and access to tech for students from lower income families, as well as restrictive budgets for schools. Fortunately, because we are so dependent on the internet, 99 per cent of households with children in the UK now have access to the internet making internet-based home-learning accessible for most, and for those who don’t have this commodity, schools have after-school homework clubs. Not to mention, when tech solutions are working at helping close the attainment gap and level learning opportunities between children from lower income families, allocated pupil premium budget can be used for EdTech products.
The key to any successful EdTech implementation is an informed decision that is linked to a clear school improvement plan. Regardless of the area for improvement, the changes you make, whether they impact management, wellbeing, or teaching and learning, they’re all going to work towards providing a greater learning experience for students.
Naimish Gohil, CEO and Founder, Satchel