Programme aims to help schools make better use of education technology

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A new scheme is being launched to help schools make sense, and better use, of educational technology.

The pilot is being set up by the EDUCATE programme, which is based at University College London’s Knowledge Lab.

UCL researchers are looking to work with teachers on how to make the most of the technology they already have and to advise them on purchasing new technology that is effective and useful.

The EDUCATE for Schools programme will be launched at the Bett Show in London next week. Schools will be invited to register their interest in the scheme, which will involve them assessing their technology needs and priorities against the school’s development plan.

The EDUCATE programme works with entrepreneurs, SMEs and start-ups developing products and services using an evidence-base and research into what works in the classroom. Dr Kristen Weatherby, the EDUCATE researcher who devised the scheme, will be working with teachers. He said: “Schools often waste valuable resources on edtech that gathers dust on a shelf or a cupboard because no one really knows what to do with it.

“Edtech is a growing industry and will become increasingly more important in the teaching and learning process, but we need school staff to become more informed and confident consumers and users of technology.

“From our experience of working with schools and technologists, we have learned that teachers are sometimes fearful of technology or may not quite grasp how it can help them, or they may not know what questions to ask to ensure it meets their needs.”

Dr Weatherby has been working on an initial trial with Hammersmith Academy in London.

Headteacher Gary Kynaston said: “Working with EDUCATE for Schools has been really helpful in teaching our staff how to identify and prioritise our needs around edtech.

“I now feel more confident that we’ll be able to find technology solutions that are really fit-for-purpose.”

Schools wishing to find out more can download a guide at https://educate.london/


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