Trials of pioneering technology to help disabled pupils in the classroom will take place across the country in the first programme of its kind in the world.
The innovations are expected to include text-to-speech and speech recognition software, which can help pupils with dyslexia improve their reading and proofreading, and are set to be announced by universities, science, research and innovation minister Chris Skidmore today.
Mr Skidmore will appear at the annual Bett (British Educational Training and Technology) Show in London where he is expected to say: “Harnessing the power of modern technology can help us change lives and unlock the potential of every child.
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“With technological advances happening at increasingly breakneck speed, it is only right that we ride the wave so pupils in our classrooms with special educational needs are given all the support they need.”
Other trials include the use of eye-gaze technology, which can help pupils with severe motor impairments to communicate.
The trials, which will run from April 2020 until the end of the 2020-21 academic year, will be funded by an initial investment of £300,000, as part of a wider investment of £10 million through the Department for Education’s edtech strategy.
The strategy is also encouraging tech firms to work with the education sector and create innovative solutions to 10 key education challenges, which include:
- Reducing teachers’ marking workload – using technology to cut the time teachers spend preparing and marking homework.
- Demonstrate how artificial intelligence can support the effective delivery of online learning and training for adults.
- Prove that the use of apps contributes to improved literacy and communications skills for disadvantaged children.
Edtech exports are worth an estimated £170 million to the UK economy.