The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) says it will work with the Department for Education to deliver free software trials for schools and a series of best-practice regional ‘demonstrator’ roadshows over the coming academic year.
BESA’s Director General, Caroline Wright, welcomed the Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds’ announcement regarding schools’ use of educational technology as part of the DfE’s assertion that new technology will “spearhead a classroom revolution”.
Wright said: “After eight long years with next-to-no Government guidance on the use of Edtech in education, 2018 looks set to deliver a change of fortune for EdTech in English schools, thanks to today’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Education.
“All-too-often we have seen an over-simplistic knee-jerk backlash against the use of technology in schools in recent times. These anti-tech adversaries cite mistakes made in the early noughties when shiny new pieces of tech were introduced into classrooms without effective training or support for teachers. And, yes, lessons must be learned from early tech implementation failures, but we must also not fail to recognise the power that technology has to inspire young minds and free-up teacher time to focus on the delivery of high-quality teaching and learning practice.
“I am delighted that the DfE’s plans recognise that EdTech, when introduced as part of a whole school strategy, has the power to help improve pupil outcomes, save teacher time and reduce workload burdens.
“It is also welcome that the DfE places teacher training and support at the heart and soul of their future approach to EdTech. BESA’s latest annual research of the use of ICT in UK schools found that 68% of secondary schools and 56% of primary schools cited training in EdTech resources as being their key challenge over the next 12 months.
“The measures outlined by the Secretary of State for Education to support classroom teacher training and development in the effective use of technology, are whole-heartedly welcomed and supported by the EdTech industry sector which BESA represents.
“I’m therefore delighted that BESA members will be working closely with the DfE to provide free software trials for schools and to deliver a series of best-practice regional ‘demonstrator’ roadshows over the coming academic year.”