Is technology helping or hindering your child's education? How much of a role should it have in schools? We asked educational experts to weigh in on the debate.
People of a certain age may imagine a classroom as having picture textbooks, pencils, a chalkboard and duster, and perhaps a battered TV on wheels.
But the modern classroom is anything but. Increasingly, pupils and teachers use smartphones, smartboards and even smart tables to animate the learning experience. Apps such as ClassDojo enable parents to follow the behaviour and achievements of their offspring. And back at home, the learning can continue on gamified apps like Atom Learning.
British schools spend around £900 million on technology each year, while the UK has the largest ‘ed tech’ (that’s education technology) sector in Europe. Its promise is grand: artifical intelligence (AI) could save teachers hours of planning and marking time, create materials that are bespoke to each child’s learning style and level, and equip children with the digital skills they will need in the future economy.
But is it living up to the hype?
The majority of teachers believe so. According to the UK-wide Education Technology survey, 88% of heads, and 84% of teachers, said that technology had or would contribute to improved pupil attainment.
A 2022 whitepaper from SMART Technologies suggested that the UK education system is a world-leader when it comes to adopting and using technology in the classroom. As former schools minister Jim Knight observed: “While the pandemic has changed the day-to-day execution of teaching and learning across the world, it also accelerated the evolution of technology adoption, curriculum, and other key elements of learning.”