Pauric Surlis, Frameworks Relationship Manager KYOCERA Document Solutions UK, on the Government’s recent £10million investment in edtech.
Anyone working in the education sector will be acutely aware of the pressure on teachers to provide high-quality learning, support and care to all students, with an ever-increasing administrative burden making it harder to deliver an engaging learning experience. Whether supporting GCSE pupils with exam preparation or guiding older students through the university application process, education staff need access to the best tools and technologies to minimise the amount of time they spend on administrative tasks.
It was encouraging to see recently that the UK government is investing up to £10 million in edtech, as it clearly reflects a recognition of the important role that innovation can play in improving the learning experience for both teachers and students. However, this investment needs to focus on improving the underlying processes to reduce paperwork and enable teachers to devote more of their attention to their students.
Easing teacher workload through edtech
There is a clear need for the intelligent implementation of technology to reduce the amount of time spent on tedious, time-consuming processes which are adding such a significant workload to teachers, on top of their teaching hours. A 2018 survey from the National Education Union found that increases in teacher workloads are “harming the profession and therefore the education of our children”. In addition, 61% of teachers reported spending over 3 hours a day on tasks that do not involve teaching, including marking coursework, homework or tests, copying and scanning research documents and filling out documentation. Although these processes are necessary, they significantly reduce the time that teachers can spend preparing their lessons and supporting students.
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 is then sent to the Copyright Licensing Agency, in what is a lengthy and tedious process. However, there are now apps which can digitally transform this process, ensuring that the necessary data goes straight to 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.
The key to the success of these initiatives is to remember that the technologies should not be overly complicated, they need to be intuitive, easy to use and support teachers to do what they do best: give a great learning experience to students. This approach could fundamentally raise standards across the sector and help to equip the UK education system for a brighter digital future.
For more information on edtech and document solutions, see KYOCERA Document Solutions UK.