Tech companies in both the UK and aborad, including Apple and Microsoft have been urged to help bring about an education revolution by putting technology at the heart of the classroom.
Education secretary, Damian Hinds stated that only a minority of schools and colleges were taking advantage of opportunities availible to bring eduction to life – like virtual trips through the Amazon or to control robots. He also emphasised that technology can also slash the time teachers spend on burdenson administrative tasks. He implored the UK’s burgeoning tech industry, along with the giants of Silicon Valley, to provide support.
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 program 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,”
“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.” He added.
He identified five key areas where the sector can provide innovative solutions: teaching practices, assessment processes, teacher training and development, administration processes and lifelong learning.
Hinds said he wanted the technology sector to demonstrate how innovations already successfully employed at some schools, colleges and universities can be rolled out more widely.
A positive example that he cited was about the Department for Education in Shireland Collegiate academy in Smethwick– where the school uses apps and software packages to facilitate its day-to-day running, saving teachers “hours and hours of time”.
The DfE had stated that it would be working closely with industry leaders as they developed online training packages and would establish an online portal providing free software trials for schools.