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Leadership / Technology

New DfE EdTech Strategy

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“The use of technology in education will be transformed by a new Government strategy published today to reduce teacher workload, boost student outcomes and help level the playing field for those with special needs and disabilities.” DfE April 2019

The DfE has just published  its EdTech strategy  for  and announced  its intention that schools and colleges will work with leading EdTech companies to   “cut teacher workload,  support professional development  and improve student outcomes.” The strategy outlines a way forward until 2021.

You can read the full press release here     

 

The  document: Realising the potential of technology in education – a strategy for education providers and the technology industry  is neatly summarised within its first diagram  (above). Gaia has long used the idea of a development pyramid  to support understanding of   the steps needed to build successful ICT  solutions and secure adoption in schools and colleges.   In this instance the message is clear. Focus, firstly on  why you want to use  technology. In this document the  DfE is highlighting administration, assessment, teaching practice and continuing professional development.

Strangely absent is reference to learning.  This reflects the focus on  institutions, teachers and  teaching and sadly misses  the  point that EdTech is driving learning in ways that are completely independent  of what happens in schools and classrooms. Additionally,  it avoids debate about the way that EdTech and pedagogy are  inter-related .  That said  the items remain a positive foundation to  decision-making in schools and colleges.

Step 1 is  as it has always been   “Set the vision  for use of EdTech”. Gaia has  always adhered to the principle that the EdTech vision should drive all subsequent   decisions.  We support schools with the process   of defining their vision  through  consultancy and  workshops. Linked to this is audit of current practice and skills.

Once defined  you can set about implementation. Gaia has always stated that infrastructure is the first thing to get right. Firstly, because it is the most long lived investment being typically a solution that might last 10 or more years. Secondly,  the server and network infrastructure,  broadband access and   wifi  are the key elements that make   ubiquitous access to IT possible. Without reliability and   anywhere, anytime any device access  any modern IT initiative is doomed to  fail.

The DfE then highlights  the two human considerations : developing the skills of users (so often neglected) and keeping people safe. At Gaia our CPD and  Training Services  team work closely with clients on just these two strands. Fairly uniquely we  bundle enhanced  support alongside  our managed IT  and installation services for just this reason.

Finally, you consider procurement, both the process and the solution.  WE would advise the best ooption for schools and colleges is to first procure an ICT partner, develop the relationship, reflect on the   required solution and then procure the hardware, software and services. Gaia  also offers   hardware as a service solutions that  enable schools and colleges to  shift spending on ICT into affordable revenue budgets. Thus avoiding the   cycle of  refresh and decline so often associated with the capital  approach to IT purchasing.

So to the top of the pyramid (or more strictly triangle) – step 3: Implement, integrate and innovate. Yes, we agree  ! This is what it is all about.  At Gaia we deliver this through  way we work with our clients , partnering for the long term and supporting all aspects of EdTech deployment and use. This involves   the engagement of our account, technical and project managers.  Our user support , delivered by expert educational technologists and   the creative input of our innovative studio team, consisting   programmers, digital artists, animators and   film-makers.

Explore EdTech Strategy with Gaia

Make EdTech work in your school or college

Explore how partnering with Gaia Techologies can help you meet the challenges of the 2019 EdTech  Strategy. Contact us today for a free,no obligation discussion.

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