Unreliable wifi in schools can leave teachers having to plan two versions of lessons, the director of research at the Chartered College of Teaching has warned.
Cat Scutt’s comments come in a video for Tes in which she outlines five key areas for schools to consider to make the best use of technology:
- It needs to start with teaching and learning, rather than with the technology.
- It is important to be clear what it is you are hoping to achieve.
- Implementation – ensure that teachers are supportive and able to use their expertise.
- Avoid potential unintended consequences of using technology.
- The most powerful uses of technology may be where it is not necessarily being used for pupils.
Discussing unintended consequences, she said: “One of the really obvious ones is the potential workload implications both in developing materials in the first place but also there is a risk, particularly where infrastructure is not in place, or where reliable wifi is not always in existence, that teachers feel the need to actually, whether explicitly or otherwise, plan two versions of the lesson – one for if the technology is working, and one for if the technology if not working – and that’s obviously really problematic.
“We need to think about what we’re doing when we are introducing technology. Is it going to be reliable? Is it going to increase workload, or is it going to be, ideally, reducing teacher workload?”
Ms Scutt added that schools should consider issues such as data security and safety, as well as the environmental impact of the technology they use.
She warned about “approaches where we might be saying ‘OK, well we expect our devices to last just three years now'", and a disposable approach to technology in schools.