Once the preserve of flipcharts and blackboards, the twenty-first century classroom is beginning to resemble more of an IT suite than a traditional learning space. iPads, laptops and interactive whiteboards have become more commonplace than could ever have been predicted, and for some schools, education technology (or edtech) has become an integral part of everyday learning.
But despite UK schools spending £900m on edtech annually, its adoption is fragmented and uneven across the country, and many institutions have neither the funds nor the expertise to make best use of the technology now available to them.
With funds and resources increasingly stretched (secondary schools’ IT budgets are, for example, falling by as much as 7% a year) the education secretary Damian Hinds has called for a ‘strong partnership’ between schools and the government to help improve use of and access to edtech.
But with a mere £400m promised for ‘little extras’ – such as technology – in this year’s budget, and research showing that edtech can actually widen, rather than bridge, socioeconomic divides, more still needs to be done to ensure all schools have an equal chance to invest in and utilise educational technology.
Read more of Chris's piece in Education Technology here.