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Future of Education Technology 2021

Building edtech strategies for the future

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Phil Blackburn

Past Chair of the Board of Management, Naace

Laurence Boulter

Chair of the Board of Management, Naace

As we look forward beyond the unpredictability of COVID-19, how can we learn from the shift to remote education?

From the onset of the pandemic, the speed of change towards remote learning strategies was something none of us could have ever predicted. Despite the many challenges and prolonged unpredictability experienced by educators and learners alike – schools across the UK have demonstrated extraordinary resilience and adaptability.

The impact of COVID-19 on UK education

Following the first wave of the pandemic, Naace surveyed over 1,000 educators in the COVID-19 Education Impact Report to find out more about the challenges and successes being experienced.

Some of the findings included:

  • 87% of respondents agreed they had learnt new skills using edtech.
  • 74% of educators surveyed disagreed they were more confident students are learning.
  • Only 28% of respondents believed their mental health has not been affected.
  • 62% of educators believed no more than 60% of students were engaged in remote learning.
  • 61% of participants said their school will change its approach to edtech.

The value of active edtech strategies

Educators told Naace about mixed experiences with remote learning, but one thing that was clear is where schools had robust edtech strategies in place, they found the move to remote learning easier. By having active edtech strategies, schools found they could be more resilient and were able to adapt more quickly. Many schools who had standardised technologies benefitted from a whole school approach and learning opportunities between staff when switching to remote learning.

The case for change

As schools make a more permanent move back to classroom environments, there are several key considerations to make in relation to edtech strategies:

  • Is your school edtech strategy sufficient?
  • What software and technology will you keep?
  • Will you adopt a standardised approach to edtech?
  • Do your school technologies integrate well together?
  • Does your edtech strategy evolve with the needs of your school?

Although the shift to remote learning has been a significant challenge, it presents us with new opportunities for a refreshed approach towards the use of edtech to improve outcomes.

Naace is the voice of the UK edtech community. It provides resources, including the Self-Review Framework, to help schools develop and make the biggest impact on teaching and learning with edtech.

Over 14,000 schools have taken advantage of this framework to reflect on their edtech strategies, plan next steps and record their progress. Learn more about Naace at

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