Education Technology and BETT 2016
Technology continues to move forward at a rapid pace and education providers must try and keep pace. Children are independently delving into areas that interest them, such as 3D printing and modelling, and some schools are investing as they can see the practical benefits and real-world applications.
Building a 3D model requires maths and engineering as well as problem solving skills and lateral thinking. This is just one example of the way new technology is being applied in education to teach important skills in a modern and engaging way.
Last month at BETT, the world’s leading education technology event, Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary said in her speech “There is undoubtedly a place for technology in helping to raise standards, whether it is helping teachers plan lessons or allowing schools to better measure pupil progress,
“The best technology plays an important role in helping great teachers deliver a rigorous, knowledge-based curriculum.”
Now in its 32nd year the BETT show provides an excellent opportunity for educators to stay up to date with all of the latest technology innovations and see practical examples of how it can improve learning in schools.
Highlights from this year included the continued growth in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the classroom to facilitate learning, as the majority of children have a mobile phone, or access to a tablet or PC and the internet at home.
Gamification is creeping into the classroom as well as the popular computer game Minecraft is now being used in schools.
These and many other interactive techniques are helping students engage with the subject material and learn in an interactive environment.
Changes to Assessment
From a school performance perspective, assessment was a recurring theme of this year’s BETT. S
ecretary Morgan addressed this issue and highlighted the potential of online and computerised testing, but also said “The analysis of that data can be invaluable to teachers and system leaders in their pursuit of excellent educational outcomes,
"Informing them which parts of the curriculum they are teaching well and signalling where there is room for improvement.”
The recent changes to assessment in primary education, and the scrapping of assessment levels, has left many primary schools feeling frustrated.
Ministers have left it up to schools to decide what system they use, which requires a robust MIS system for recording all the data.
In addition to making it easy to capture information, schools need an effective way of analysing the data. Panintelligence has been working with organisations in the education sector for several years, such as Tribal in the HE/FE space, and RM, helping schools translate their attendance, behaviour and assessment data into summary charts with actionable information.
This allows senior decision makers in schools to identify, at a glance, areas that need improvement as well as recognise trends and patterns in the data.
This level of access to data is more critical than ever and school leaders need a flexible system that can keep up with the many changes affecting them every year.