Classroom technology ‘hardly used’ by teachers


A new study reveals that millions of pounds worth of high tech is lying unused in UK schools, as teachers lack the confidence and proper training to use it.

The research by Canvas reveals that nearly half of teachers (46 per cent) rarely use the technology in their classrooms, despite taxpayers picking up an estimated £900 million bill to put it there. This ‘tech dormancy’ could be having a detrimental impact on learning, according to education experts.

The survey asked teachers about their usage of a range of hardware and software, from tablets and computers to interactive whiteboards and e-learning systems – technology now present in most classrooms in Britain.

Having technology in the classroom without finding effective ways to integrate it into the learning process has been shown to negatively impact student outcomes. When integrated effectively, more than a third (36 per cent) of teachers agree that classroom tech can improve results.

The barriers to this usage are complex, but the research suggests broad scepticism among the teaching community about the efficacy of some technology, with a third (33 per cent) unsure how to integrate it into their teaching.  The impact of ICT on student learning is uncertain, but teachers have an important role in making the most of new technology in this classroom. It’s worrying therefore that nearly half (47 per cent) of teachers haven’t been trained in how to use it properly.

In Britain’s new academies and free schools, which enjoy greater budgetary independence, dormancy is a particular problem with ‘regular usage’ at just over half (52 per cent).

The picture in Britain’s private schools is brighter as usage is significantly higher (at 55 per cent) although even more teachers than in the state sector describe the training they receive as inadequate.

Samantha Blyth, director of schools at Canvas said: “There is clearly no lack of enthusiasm for technology among UK teachers and there is broad support for the principle that they improve learning."

Digital Learning