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Hinds calls for edtech revolution in schools

Education secretary outlines five areas where the edtech industry could 'create a step change in education'

edtech, ed tech, technology, damian hinds, dfe, editorial

Education secretary outlines five areas where the edtech industry could 'create a step change in education'

Damian Hinds has issued a five-point challenge to the tech industry to launch a "revolution" in schools.

The education secretary today said that the Department for Education will develop online training packages with the Chartered College of Teaching and the British Educational Suppliers' Association and others, establish an online portal to provide free software trials for schools and hold regional roadshows.

The DfE said the education secretary had "challenged the tech industry to launch an education revolution for schools, colleges and universities".

The DfE listed the five “key opportunities” where the tech sector could “create a step change in education, improving teaching and slashing workload”:

  • Teaching practices to support access, inclusion and improved learning outcomes for all;
  • Assessment processes, making assessment more effective and efficient; 
  • Methods for delivery of teacher training and development by upgrading educator support so they can learn and develop more flexibly; 
  • Administration processes to reduce the burden of "non-teaching" tasks; 
  • Solutions to lifelong learning to help those who have left the formal education system to get the best from online learning.
     

Mr Hinds said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to see technology being used in revolutionary ways. Students are able to explore the rainforest, steer virtual ships or programme robots from their classroom, while teachers are able to access training, share best practice with colleagues and update parents on a pupil’s progress without being taken away from their main focus – teaching. 

Strong edtech 'partnerships'

“Schools, colleges and universities have the power to choose the tech tools which are best for them and their budgets.

"But they cannot do this alone. It’s only by forging a strong partnership between government, technology innovators and the education sector that there will be sustainable, focused solutions which will ultimately support and inspire the learners of today and tomorrow.”

Technology has been a frequent theme in Mr Hinds’ comments since he became education secretary in January.

He used his first major speech, at that month’s Education World Forum in London, to say that technology would reduce teacher workload.

In that speech, he acknowledged frequent “trepidation” in schools about technology, and sought to reassure teachers over fears that automation would replace them by saying that DfE research on classroom teaching had made it “absolutely clear that direct instruction is of paramount importance”.

And last week, the education secretary used a keynote speech about social mobility to launch a competition to find free apps that could help the development of language skills of pre-school children in areas of deprivation.

 

 

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