Government investment in EdTech must focus on underlying technology to enhance the learning experience

Reducing the administrative burden on teachers through innovative technology will deliver a richer and more engaging learning experience, says KYOCERA Document Solutions

The Government’s announcement on Wednesday that it would invest up to £10 million in technology for the education sector reflects a growing recognition of the transformative role that technology can play in providing a rich and engaging learning experience for students. However, Joe Doyle, Group Marketing Director at KYOCERA Document Solutions UK, suggests that the government should focus its investment on the underlying technologies that can significantly reduce the administrative burden on teachers so that they can devote more of their attention to their students.

There is a clear need for the intelligent implementation of technology to reduce the amount of time that teachers have to spend on tedious, time-consuming processes. A 2018 survey of teachers from the National Education Union reported that 61% of respondents reported spending over 3 hours a day on tasks that did not involve teaching, limiting the time available to them to plan engaging lessons and negatively impacting teachers’ work-life balance.

Joe commented: “While it may be tempting for government and education authorities to invest in flashy technology for the classroom, they should instead concentrate on the underlying technologies that make teachers’ lives easier, helping them to focus on delivering an excellent education experience for all. Of course, it would be fantastic to have VR headsets in every classroom, but that would be no use if the teacher is so buried in paperwork that they don’t have the time to prepare a lesson that makes best use of them.

“A prime example of a time-consuming process overdue for transformation through new technology is the copyright process. Currently many teachers are required to manually fill out forms whenever they copy or scan copyrighted material that are then sent to the Copyright Licensing Agency, in what is a lengthy and tedious process. However, there are now apps, such as KYOCERA’s CopyScanPublications app, which can digitally transform this process, ensuring that the necessary data goes straight to the CLA. This is the kind of innovative technology that needs to be applied to a whole range of administrative processes to free up teachers’ time and help them focus on teaching.

“Government investment in technology for the education sector should always be welcomed by all stakeholders, but to make sure that taxpayers’ money is spent most effectively, it needs a really strategic approach. The government should be deploying technology to reduce the administrative burden on teachers, supporting them with the technology they need and helping them do what they do best, give a great learning experience to students. This could fundamentally raise standards across the sector and help to equip the UK education system for a digital future,” Joe concluded.