Teachers’ Obsession with Technology sees Gadgets worth Millions sit in Cupboards

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September 2, 2016 by dragonflytraining

Millions of pounds of technology is languishing in school cupboards because teachers are being lured into buying the latest gadgets, according to research.  Schools spend more than £450 million a year on tablet computers, educational games and electronic whiteboards with little or no evidence that they benefit pupils, it was claimed.

Teachers were increasingly pulled in by the “hype” of digital education without properly considering how to use it.  In some cases, schools are using “shiny new devices” as a direct replacement for books or pen and paper excercises, instead of using them to enhance pupils’ skills.

Many other schools are allowing millions of pounds’ worth of electronic items to languish underused in school cupboards.  A tablet replacing an exercise book is not innovation – it’s just a different way to make notes.  The danger is that the technology of the 21st century is being applied using teaching methods of the 20th.  The emphasis is too often on shiny hardware, rather than how it’s to be used.

It has been reported that schools across Britain collectively spent more than £1.4billion on the latest gadgets in the past three years alone.  But the study warned that there was “little tangible impact” on pupils’ education as technology was often imported into classroom without the necessary changes to teacher practice and school organisation to support them.  The report, called Decoding Learning, also said tablet computers were being handed to pupils with no training in how to use them.  To use either effectively, a child needs structured teaching to help turn information into knowledge.  Instead of fetishing the latest kit, focusing on effective learning activities can help us make better use of what we’ve got.  The study highlighted a number of ways in which technology could be used to improve pupils’ education such as pupils being able to use powerful sound and digital equipment to simulate an earthquake in geography class.

The conclusions come amid concerns over the effect that technology is having on schoolchildren.  Researchers have consistently called for access to gadgets to be limited in the early years amid fears that they erode pupils’ basic skills.

This Term Dragonfly Training are introducing a brand new course:  ‘Teacher Tech Top-Up’ – A Revolutionary Course – Accessible, in Plain English.  Despite endless initiatives we are struggling to embed IT properly throughout education.  Far too much IT training is being pitched solely at the top end, and often ends up preaching to the converted.  This course squarely aims to redress the balance.  It is aimed at the silent majority: those teachers who would happily engage with IT, if only it were explained simply, saved time and worked.

The course is ran by Peter Dawes.  Peter Dawes is an engaging and enthusiastic trainer with a broad repertoire of practical ideas. He has 17 years’ experience of teaching MFL in a variety of schools and has taught English abroad.

Peter spent a week at Apple HQ in Bangkok, delivering iPad courses to hundreds of teachers in South East Asia. His courses have evolved to embrace new technologies, from IWB through to Web 2.0 and now iPads. Yet his guiding principle through these changes has always been pedagogy before technology. When post-it notes or mini-whiteboards are the best for the job, he’ll be the first to recommend them!


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