1 in 10 teachers 'not very' confident with technology

Some 15 per cent of college teachers feel that the technology at their college is 'poor' or worse, a survey suggests

Kate Parker

Gillian Keegan: Colleges should work with Jisc on developing digital skills

More than one in 10 college teachers admits they are "not very" or "not at all" confident in trying new technologies, research suggests.

The survey reveals that 15 per cent of teachers feel the technology at their college is "poor", "awful" or the "worst imaginable". 

Apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan has told FE leaders to work with partners and “develop digital strategies that place the skills of their staff as central to delivering technology-enabled learning for their learners and communities”.

Developing digital skills in colleges

The survey by not-for-profit technology company Jisc, published today and including over 2,500 teachers in FE from 26 different colleges, also shows that the majority of staff had enjoyed trying out new technologies - something most were forced to do as the sector moved to remote delivery of teaching in March. Just over a third of responses were submitted before 23 March 2020, with the remainder submitted after that date.

Attitudes towards technology 

  • The majority of staff (95 per cent) said that they either enjoyed trying out new and innovative technologies or were comfortable using mainstream technologies. 
  • Around 70 per cent of staff said they were either “very” or “quite confident” at trying out new technologies, while 11 per cent said they were either “not very” or “not at all” confident. 

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Quality of technology and resources 

  • When it came to software, hardware and the learning environment, 15 per cent of respondents said that it was "poor", "awful" or the "worst imaginable"; 32 per cent said it was "average"; and 53 per cent said it was either the "best imaginable", "excellent" or "good". 
  • A quarter of respondents (24 per cent) said that they did not agree that the software they had available for teaching was industry standard and up-to-date, while 34 per cent agreed that it was. 
  • Around 35 per cent disagreed that teaching spaces were well designed for technology use. Just a quarter (24 per cent) agreed that they were.
  • A quarter (24 per cent) said that digital media production facilities were available when needed.  However, a quarter disagreed with this (24 per cent).
  • And 40 per cent of respondents disagreed that classroom digital equipment was reliable and easy to use, compared with 23 per cent who thought it was. 
  • Just 65 per cent per cent of teaching staff said they had reliable, on-demand access to wi-fi.

Digital teaching and learning 

  • When it came to the overall quality of digital teaching and learning, 59 per cent said it was either "best imaginable", "excellent" or "good"; 31 per cent said it was average; and 10 per cent said it was "poor", "awful" or the "worst imaginable". 
  • The majority of staff (81 per cent) said that they were either very or quite motivated when it came to using technology in learning.
  • Around 59 per cent of respondents worked only online with learners, 27 per cent said that they did so monthly or less, and 14 per cent said they never did.
  • Almost half (49 per cent) said that they gave digital feedback to individual learners, 35 per cent said they did so monthly or less, and 15 per cent they never did. 

Developing digital skills 

  • When it came to the overall quality of organisational support to develop digital skills, 54 per cent rated it as either "excellent", the "best imaginable" or "good". While 32 per cent said it was "average", and 15 per cent said it was "poor", "awful" or the "worst imaginable". 
  • When asked what organisations could do to develop digital skills, 47 per cent of respondents asked for more training, and 28 per cent asked for more time to develop and practise skills and to create digital learning resources. Around 11 per cent wanted better IT hardware, software and wi-fi;  9 per cent said it would take organisational strategy, recognition and culture; and 4 per cent wanted more support. 

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

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