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Considering impact

Hear about the consideration of impact of your use of education technologies
There’s a really interesting figure in the article that you guys wrote which is 44% of primary schools and 31% of secondary schools report that EdTech implementation had helped them. Only 44% and only 31% is what I thought when I read that, so why is it so atrocious and what can be done? So I think one thing we haven’t mentioned yet is that you know EdTech is such a broad range of things.
When it started out, it was really only computing but we know when you think now about the educational technology, you’ve got things that address the curriculum, you’ve got things that address aspects of teachers planning, you’ve got things that are directed towards assessment, you’ve got communication tools to parents or just internally within the school and you’ve got admin stuff like you know timetabling and information management systems and where we are now with EdTech is an awful lot of these things are integrated so you haven’t just got the complexities of each of those, you’ve also got the fact that they talk to each other, you know, your assessment tool talks to your MIS and it talks to your parent communication and these things, in order to you know come out and say right this is really helping us, this is really, you know, we can evaluate this in our school and we think it works, you need to be thinking about how you come to that judgment and often it’s a snap judgment, it is, it is going, you know, thinking about your first use of something, yes I liked it, I didn’t like it, so one of the things that in our Educate for Schools program is supporting schools to really think through right, if I was gonna pilot this in a slightly more systematic way which just means I pinned down which class and how long I’m going to use it for and what my key goals are and am I going to use all of it or a bit of it, just trying to put some parameters around that little pilot so that you might still come out and say it doesn’t work but at least you’ve understood it doesn’t work in that context.
Absolutely and this is one of the things that we are working with schools on right now because it really is difficult for schools. Schools tend to hear about EdTech from other schools or other teachers and they think oh, well that worked in the school down the street or in the classroom of my friend, so it’s bound to work for me and that of course is is not often the case. So we try to talk to teachers and schools about the basic tenants of this makes, what makes good research, what do they need to look for when they’re looking at a research study, In terms of quality indicators.
I think another challenge we have with EdTech is we’ve always had our innovators, we’ve always had in our schools, we all know the person who came bounding into the classroom with something new they found or something they wanted to share and the mindset of the innovator is quite different to the mainstream and that, you know, just because one or two people pick things up really quickly, on the whole, the majority of the teaching workforce needs more time and support to get there and I think that concentrating and supporting that early process is key so it’s not…
it’s about not being over ambitious and I think it actually makes it easier if you think about things taking longer because you’ve got an opportunity then to support teachers to really come to things naturally and see how these new technologies are going to change and effect their practices so I mean I honestly think that less is more and take things slowly because then you take people with with you.
In this video, we hear Alison Clark-Wilson and Kristen Weatherby speak to Iesha Small about EdTech strategy and impact.

Alison reflects on how ‘EdTech’ isn’t just one tool but several that are often inter-connected. Being able to reach a judgement that a piece of technology works and has impact in your context is therefore not easy. Setting some parameters around a small, systematic pilot can be helpful: which class, how long, what goals? Be prepared to support teachers in coming to things naturally and slowly. Remember that what works in one context won’t necessarily work in every context.

It’s worth considering how this can be addressed in the current context where schools may have been, or are still operating very differently due to COVID-19. It’s important to acknowledge that any online learning experienced at this time is ‘emergency remote teaching’ rather than ‘online learning’ and its impact and efficacy should be viewed through this lens. This article outlines this.

Once you’ve reflected on the points raised with other course participants, click the ‘Mark as complete’ button below and then select ‘Using data to drive school efficiencies’ to explore how education technology can affect the workload associated with data.
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Leadership of Education Technology in Schools

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