The much-awaited Ed Tech strategy was published on 4th April.
It’s commitment to the power and potential of the Internet is very welcome. Technology can bring significant benefits to educational settings from learning apps to those that save time and money. At New Era Education we have been working with our partners in education for many years advocating the power and benefits. From our award-winning online safety platform, Db Primary, to our parent app, School Ping and the cutting-edge Identity and Access Management solution, Able + Cloud, we are fully aware of the difference investment in technology may make. For this to be recognized by the Department for Education is a significant step forward.
We have seen first hand how EdTech positively impacts online safety
Our case studies have long shown the benefits educational settings from early years to higher education may gain by effective implementation. Significant learning through first-hand experience is evidenced by our partner schools using DB Primary. In line with the commitment of the strategy to place digital safety and security at the heart of an online strategy, the DB Primary platform enables primary aged-children to learn about digital citizenship in a safe, secure environment. School Ping meanwhile is saving schools both time and money, whilst facilitating effective parental engagement. We’ll soon be bringing news of the impact of Able+ Cloud in saving time and money as it simplifies the administration of complex processes and systems in larger educational settings.
The strategy combines the necessary components of success.
It recognizes that technology is not a silver bullet; that success requires the coordination of several interrelated factors. Meeting a need is paramount. Too much time and effort has previously been spent on the latest shiny technology with insufficient consideration of impact. Digital skills and attitudes must be developed. Capability and skills must be supported by vision. Impact is key and to achieve that there has to be a culture that promotes the use of the technology available to teachers in their classroom. Understanding what works, is writ large in the strategy.
BESA’s initiatives are playing an important role in the strategy
Both LendEd and LearnEd are recognized in the strategy. The central role of BESA, of which we are proud to be members, in developing these initiatives is to be celebrated. New Era Education along with other BESA members contributed greatly to the development of the LendEd portal and will continue to support it, so that schools can find what works for them with minimum effort and no cost. We are delighted to have already offered trials through the portal, which was only officially launched at BETT.
Ensuring the infrastructure is an essential element to the successful deployment of technology in schools.
The strategy’s commitment to this is very welcome. To truly benefit from the power of the Internet, educational settings require reliable, fast networks that support the effective use of technology. The commitment of the DfE to this is essential.
How is the strategy different this time round?
To those who witnessed the initial EdTech strategy of the early part of this century there may be a feeling of déjà vu. But I don’t think so. I think this time it’s different. Although support, effort and energy will undoubtedly once again be invested in this. There are significant differences. Gone has the notion of top-down delivery. This time it is very much about schools deciding what works for them; about local decisions and local solutions, supported by others in collaboration. It’s about shared expertise and shared experience, it’s about making local priorities. Hopefully the comprehensive spending review will deliver the funding that education deserves to make the strategy a reality.
New Era remain committed to developing EdTech products, which solve real issues for schools.
In the meantime, companies such as New Era will continue to innovate and to work in partnership with the education sector to provide technology that brings genuine benefit. Hopefully the DfE will support us in sharing our best practice, in giving opportunities to feed into the strategy alongside the global giants. We look forward to the opportunities ahead and an exciting new era of innovation and success.