Half of teachers 'lack tech needed to close Covid gap'

And 51 per cent say they need a 'greater understanding of technology' to achieve 'better learning outcomes', poll shows

Amy Gibbons

Half of teachers say they lack the edtech to close the Covid learning gap, research suggests

Half of teachers don't believe they have the "right technology" to close the learning gap created by the Covid crisis, a new survey suggests.

And 51 per cent say they need a "greater understanding of technology" to ensure that their pupils achieve "better learning outcomes", according to a new survey from edtech supplier RM.

The research, conducted during October 2020, gathered responses from opted-in members of the National Education Research Panel (NERP), which includes 625 curriculum leaders in England.

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In the poll, four in five teachers (80 per cent) said they thought that the teaching time lost to the Covid crisis over the past 11 months will have a long-term impact on pupils' education, but half (50 per cent) said that they didn't have the right technology to close this learning gap.

Meanwhile, 79 per cent of teachers said their school's historic use of technology was "insufficient for what is now required to deliver good educational outcomes for children", the research found.

Covid: Schools 'need to ensure edtech is being used effectively'

Despite this, more than three in five primary teachers (61 per cent) and nearly two in five secondary teachers (39 per cent) claimed their school had not implemented any new technology in the first six months of the pandemic.

Other findings from the research include:

  • Not all teachers are comfortable using technology – nearly a third (30 per cent) said they avoided using digital tools as they felt they detracted from their role.
  • Nearly two-thirds of teachers (61 per cent) believe that technology in schools is improving learning outcomes for their children.
  • Nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of secondary school teachers said they didn't have appropriate training on how to use specific software.
  • More than a third (37 per cent) of primary school teachers said that technology distracts students from learning, while 42 per cent were unsure of how to integrate technology into their teaching style.
  • Teachers cited a lack of training and time wasted setting up technology as their biggest challenges when using tech.

John Baskerville, managing director of RM's technology division, said: "As an industry, we've faced a year like no other. Teachers, parents and children have had to adapt to completely new ways of teaching and learning, much of which has been underpinned by technology.

"The majority of schools have risen to the occasion and teachers have worked tirelessly to educate our children during lockdown, but it's clear that we still have a way to go in ensuring technology is being used effectively and supports teachers in providing children with the education they deserve."

He added: "Before the pandemic, only a minority of schools were talking about remote or blended learning. But that all changed with the lockdowns, and I am in awe of the resourcefulness of teachers in this country who have ensured their students have the best chance possible to maintain their education. 

"It is clear that those schools that had the right technology in place are the ones that made the leap to remote learning most easily. As an industry, we must acknowledge this point and commit that one of the legacies from Covid is that schools and teachers are equipped with the best possible technology to ensure that they can give pupils the education they deserve – no matter what is thrown at them – and that we can use this as a catalyst to enhancing the learning process for everyone in this country."

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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