Justin Sycamore, managing director at Vocab Express, provides some food for thought for teachers drafting their ICT wish lists.
There is no question about it, education technology whether hardware like digital tablets, or software like educational games, can greatly improve students’ learning. However, a recent study carried out by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts claims expensive digital technology for schools often sits unused in classroom cupboards.
In the last three years, researchers estimated that schools in England alone spent more than £1.4bn on technology, a staggering amount considering tight school budgets, but it is not being used to its full potential. It was reported that the main reason for this, was teachers’ and learners’ lack of understanding in using these costly digital kits.
In an interview with the BBC, Dominic Savage of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) welcomed the report commenting: “Schools should only invest in technology when they understand what they want to do with it and what it will achieve.”
Here at Vocab Express we support this opinion and believe it is incredibly important for education suppliers to provide resources which are user friendly, support the educator, can be easily updated and strengthen and accelerate learning. There is a rich range of resources available but schools need to be careful not to put excitement at innovation ahead of what actually helps students learn. To all teachers reading this blog and attending the Bett show in January, our advice would be to carefully consider what products will best suit both you and your students. It may be easy to compile an extensive list of flash techy gadgets, but are they straightforward to use? Will you need training to use them? Do they effectively support the work you undertake in lessons? Could they become obsolete in a couple of years? Do they need to be used in conjunction with other products? Is there a more effective alternative?
Suppliers at Bett will be happy to answer any questions and for visitors to trial their products. To find out more information on the show please take a look at the Bett 2013 website where you can find out more about each exhibitor before hand with their exhibitor profiles http://www.bettshow.com/
We would love to hear your thoughts on the use of digital technology in schools!