More than three in four (79%) teaching professionals believe that the delivery and technique of their teaching has improved since the start of the pandemic due to technology, according to new research (@Nexer_Digital).
The Mapping the Future of Education and Technology report by Nexer Digital has encouragingly revealed that seven out of 10 (70%) teachers feel that educational technology (EdTech) mitigated the impacts of the pandemic on their learners’ education.
The positive effects of EdTech were most firmly felt by those working in further education (FE), non-degree post-secondary education, with the vast majority of FE staff (86%) saying that technology reduced the negative effects of the pandemic on teaching, versus just 68% of higher education (HE), degree level teaching staff.
The most widely appreciated benefit of EdTech by teachers is the increased availability and breadth of resources. More than four in five (83%) educators said that EdTech has increased the range of materials they have to teach with by providing access to eBooks, videos, digital games and other tools that enrich the experience for learners.
Catherine Jessey, science teacher at St Paul’s Catholic College, West Sussex, said:
“When I first started teaching in 2006, I had the use of an overhead projector, and a TV with VHS and DVD players were wheeled from classroom to classroom. Now, in 2021, I can share my lesson slides both on the screen at the front of the classroom and directly to my students’ iPad screens, adding live annotations and saving the resource in a shared online space for students to view again later.
“I can use numerous different quiz platforms and games to check my students’ understanding; create and share images, animation and video to develop their learning; involve students in my lessons even when they’re not onsite and set tasks that allow learners to show off their understanding in creative ways that would never have been possible back in that 2006 classroom.”
Despite EdTech being used at least some of the time by 85% of teachers, fewer than a fifth (17%) use it in every lesson. Nexer Digital’s research suggests that this is because EdTech is not easy for all teachers to use as 41% said that it takes them longer to prepare for lessons that incorporate EdTech.
Shaun Gomm, commercial director at Nexer Digital, said:
“The sudden shift to remote learning was had a major impact on learners and teaching staff, and suddenly technology became a vital part of classes. Educational establishments across the country were forced to transform the learning experience very quickly and teachers have had to adapt with this, inevitably leading to some issues.
“This highlights the need for the properly considered adoption of EdTech that is easy-to-use, to ensure it fulfils its potential for enhancing the learning experience. The speed at which teachers had to pivot to remote teaching meant that proper user research and testing were not possible, but as EdTech becomes a choice rather than a necessity, we hope to see this change, improving classroom tech’s overall impact.”
The overall sentiment towards EdTech is positive and 58% of lessons feature it in some form, with this number rising to 71% in higher education. Early years learning features the fewest EdTech-supported lessons (50%), suggesting that teachers of older learners have found it easier to regularly implement EdTech into classes.