Staff and students must understand and embrace the transformative potential of EdTech, says Edge report

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education has helped us realise the potential of education technology to make learning more engaging and accessible. There is now a greater need for educational institutions to adopt digital tools, and at a faster pace than ever before, according to a report published by the Edge Foundation today.

Ready-access to education is more important than ever. Existing digitalisation has helped many colleges respond well and adapt to the Covid-19 situation. This is particularly important as colleges are front and centre in minimising the UK’s technical and digital skills gap.

Education institutions need to utilise the benefits of technology to prepare the future workforce so that they are equipped with the most up-to-date industry skills. The silver lining within this pandemic could well be a revolution in how further education capitalises on the power of EdTech.

Since September 2019, the Edge Foundation has been conducting a vital piece of research to see how Further Education colleges are using education technology to equip students and staff with the digital skills they will need in their future careers; and what the challenges are that college staff are facing in integrating education technology. The study looks at how four FE colleges across the UK have successfully integrated digital technologies into their practice.

The research identified some challenges, namely, staff confidence. Lecturers across all the colleges in the study were often disheartened by tech mishaps, especially if these occurred in front of students.

However, the research also found that:

  • Using education technology in teaching allows students to view how digital skills will be needed in the workplace.
  • Constant and consistent support from a digital team within each college encourages staff to use existing and new technologies.
  • For both staff and students, it is necessary to show how embedding education technology can help enhance their experience in teaching and learning.
  • A key characteristic of successful integration for colleges is their ability to respond and adapt their provision to the changing labour market such as technological changes.

You can download the full research report and read case studies from Basingstoke College of Technology, Dundee and Angus College, Suffolk New College and Belfast Metropolitan College below.

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