Secretary of State for Education challenges tech industry

The Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, has challenged the tech industry to launch an ‘education revolution’ for schools, colleges and universities.

While celebrating some of the instances schools in the UK have already benefited from state-of-the-art technology – be it improving engagement for students through interactive technology or slashing the time their teachers are spending on burdensome administrative tasks – Hinds claimed that only a minority of schools and colleges are currently taking advantage of these opportunities.

Yesterday the Education Secretary called on the industry – both the UK’s burgeoning tech sector and Silicon Valley giants like Apple and Microsoft – for help.

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Damian 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 programme 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.”

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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.

Commenting on the announcement Caroline Wright, Director General at the British Educational Suppliers Association said: “I am delighted that the Department for Education’s plans place teacher training and support at the heart and soul of their future approach to EdTech and recognises that EdTech, when introduced as part of a whole school strategy, has the power to help improve pupil outcomes, save teacher time and reduce workload burdens.”

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“The measures outlined by the Secretary of State for Education today, to support classroom teacher training and development in the effective use of technology, are whole-heartedly welcomed and supported by the EdTech industry sector which BESA represents.”

“In the coming months, the Department for Education will be working with businesses and schools to ensure they have the infrastructure in place to be in a position to implement some of this technology to improve the school day for both pupils and teachers.”

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future

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