'Urgent' call to train teachers in 'digital learning'

It's clear that initial teacher training courses have 'little, if any, focus on digital learning', say experts
14th October 2020, 5:37pm

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'Urgent' call to train teachers in 'digital learning'

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/urgent-call-train-teachers-digital-learning
Remote Teaching During Covid-19 Crisis

Urgent action is needed to train new teachers in remote learning, MPs have been told.

It is clear that initial teacher training (ITT) courses have "little, if any, focus on digital learning", and work must be done to remedy this, according to a group of independent edtech experts.

The comments were made in a report from the Edtech Advisory Forum, in response to the education select committee's call for views on the impact of Covid-19 on education and children's services.


Related: Schools' use of edtech over lockdown to be scrutinised

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"It is clear that initial teacher training, the early career framework and a spectrum of national professional qualifications have little, if any, focus on digital learning and the positive support education technology can bring for teaching and learning," the report said.

"There needs to be urgent action to remedy this and provide a coherent national framework of support in these qualifications for the positive uses of digital and wider use of accredited Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and similar imaginative training opportunities."

The group said it welcomed the news revealed by Tes that ITT providers who "might have only touched on remote learning in the past" have now begun to "embed it into their programmes" - and said this should be made an "urgent requirement".

However, this "must be balanced with an awareness of teacher and particularly headteacher workload to prevent further dips in retention, particularly in headteachers," the report said.

The group also used the report to call for a new "Office for Edtech & Digital Skills" with "clear ministerial responsibility" to be established, as it claims edtech policy is currently "fragmented" across government departments.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Technology is and will continue to be a force for good for schools, colleges and universities, and we're constantly working to help the sector harness that potential.

"Our EdTech Strategy set out our aim to support and enable the education sector in England to help develop and embed technology in a way that cuts workload, fosters efficiencies, removes barriers to education and ultimately drives improvements in educational outcomes.

"We have also recently committed more than £1 million of additional funding for the edtech demonstrator programme, which will give even more school leaders and teachers the capabilities and confidence to use technology effectively."

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