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Home » Education Technology » Creativity, confidence and choices are the future of edtech

Les Hopper

Director of Digital and Assessment, Pearson

For many schools and families, the last two years have seen a ‘crash course’ in edtech. The question now is: which lessons do we choose to take forward?

Catalysed by the pandemic, edtech became the mainstay of every stage of learning – being simultaneously the register, the virtual classroom and where assessments and homework took place.

Necessity opened up a new world of exploration and experimentation to enhance education. Creating online story times, ‘learning missions’ and virtual trips, Pearson National Teaching Award winners exemplify the creativity suffusing the education community. And they’re not alone. In our recent survey, one in four teachers (26%) reported that the shift to online learning led to increased creativity in lesson delivery or content.

Confidence and skills boost

Stephen Sadler, Head of Digital Learning, Creativity and Innovation at East Barnet School says: “It’s got teachers believing in themselves, that they’ve got the scope to deliver learning in a completely different way and in a more personalised way as well.”

Our 2021 survey of 6,817 UK educators revealed the extent of the digital upskilling, with 81% reporting skills improving amongst staff and 64% seeing the same amongst their students.

Joe Yates, Deputy Headteacher of Rowledge C of E Primary School says: “It’ll be important that we build on this over time. For all the challenges that lockdown presented – and any learning deficits we’re seeking to address – children now have a welcome surplus of digital learning skills that we should nurture and celebrate.” 

The edtech evolution

Harnessing this creativity and confidence is thus not only a priority for schools but also for any edtech tool. Recent exposure to so many of them means schools are rightly more discerning and demanding in what they expect to see as standard.

For Pearson, this is driving the evolution and continual improvement of our digital services. Our guiding principle is that we harness technology in education not because we must or can, but because it’s the right tool to maximise teaching, learning and assessment.

Going forward, technology has the potential to enhance every stage of education and we should set our aspirations and expectations high.

Finding inspiration through collaboration

Making choices about where and how edtech can have the best impact relies on curiosity, creativity and comprehensive research.

Fuelled by collaboration with schools, our ActiveHub family of digital services connects teaching and learning whenever and wherever it happens. Flexible content, assessment and powerful insights support teacher choice and the creation of personalised learning experiences that encourage every learner to progress.

When introducing an onscreen exam for Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9–1) Computer Science so students could demonstrate practical skills in real time, we looked to our onscreen assessments in 115 countries for inspiration. It is also what led 4,000 students to take onscreen GCSE mock exams in 2021 with our Mocks Service.

Looking to the future

Encouraged by feedback from students, teachers and employers, we’re working with the education community and are firmly focussed on creating the qualifications of the future.

Going forward, technology has the potential to enhance every stage of education and we should set our aspirations and expectations high.

With the right edtech tools and support, we can choose to further enable access and inclusion, enrich key skills and knowledge and encourage progress. By doing so, we can not only positively impact teaching, learning and assessment, but also the life choices and opportunities of our young people. Let’s choose to work together to make that future a reality.

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