Home » Education Technology » Can edtech help us mind the learning gap?
Future of EdTech Q3 2021

Can edtech help us mind the learning gap?

iStock / Getty Images Plus / tuachanwatthana

Gavin Dykes

Education Advisor, Director, Education World Forum,
Former Secretary General, iTEC
and Co-founder and Fellow of Education Fast Forward

We’re standing on the edtech development path. It feels a bit like a yellow brick road; many junctions ahead, many decisions to take.

With no set roadmap for edtech development, there are some fundamental principles that should guide us as we move beyond the pandemic.

An enabler or a leveller?

‘Innovate don’t digitise’ is one good call. Surely better, albeit riskier, than reinforcing education as it is. Too often we follow a set model of education, yet is it right for the future? An agile edtech sector can help us flex to meet emerging challenges, particularly when combined with responsive policies and practice.

Equal access

Addressing inequality is crucial; only some enjoy ready access to technology and family and friends to provide wrap around pedagogical support. Inadequacies in access to tech, infrastructure and support lie at the heart of the digital divide in the UK and overseas, fixing this must be a priority for policymakers.

A loss of learning early in life has an impact on that trajectory that can last a lifetime.

Data ownership and learning

Everyone knows that technology use leaves traces of choices made. An important question to ask is who owns that data? It would be good if such data insights were shared and sharing was written into contracts. Data insights give us all the opportunity to continuously innovate and that’s an opportunity we shouldn’t miss right now.

Learning trajectory

COVID has disrupted our presumptions of learning trajectory. A loss of learning early in life has an impact on that trajectory that can last a lifetime. Can edtech accelerate learning and help step-change our children’s learning trajectories to recover lost ground?

Recovery is best when built on well-being and a strategic examination of what children really need to know to become independent thinkers and learners. Making sure that is our curriculum’s priority is key.

Sharing knowledge

The past 18 months have amplified what we know of isolation and the influence of learner context. Much more can be gained from cooperation and collaboration; between educators, schools, governments and edtech developers. Whatever we aim for, in learning, context is key.

The world around us is changing rapidly and we must keep pace with these changes. The future depends on the decisions key players are making in edtech. The very least we should hope for is to learn from each other and have equity, trust and learning in our hearts.

Next article