Pupil exposure to ICT continues to rise despite its value being questioned

Despite a recent OECD report questioning the value of classroom technology, UK schools continue to increase the amount of teaching time using ICT.


The British Educational Suppliers Association’s (BESA) annual ‘ICT in UK State Schools’ research findings shows that pupils are currently exposed to ICT for 53 per cent of teaching time in comparison to 50 per cent in 2014.


The 609 schools surveyed (294 primary and 315 secondary) forecast that this exposure will continue to rise, with pupils expected to use technology for 58 per cent of learning time by 2017.


The UK has always led the way in terms of the use of technology in education, with many thousands of educators from schools overseas attending Bett, the world’s largest technology in education event, each year.


Caroline Wright, director general designate at BESA said, “The OECD report is based on international findings and is not solely focused on UK schools. It is certainly true that there have been many unwise investments in technology. In almost every case where investment has not gone to plan the reason is overwhelmingly due to a lack of effective investment in continuing professional development (CPD) and teacher training: this often results in hardware sitting idle or teachers having little idea of how to use it effectively. Schools that are using technology well in the UK are not only seeing improved results in traditional examinations but also higher levels of pupil engagement, which improves overall outcomes.


“The crucial point is that we have all to agree what education should be like for the coming decade, but few could argue that any strategy that ignores the technology our children use every day and that permeates working lives will risk failure.”


Wright concludes with a warning. “I would advise against a one sided argument either for or against the use of technology in learning. It is in our most outstanding schools that we see an effective blend of traditional teaching practice and the innovative use of technology.”