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Future of Education Technology Q1 2023

Edtech use is increasing, but is it effective?

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Dave Smith

Head of Content, BESA

It can be difficult for school leaders to keep up with the latest developments in education technology (edtech). What issues are they facing and what questions should they be asking to get it right?  


The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and NAACE have collaborated to produce the ‘Education Technology Briefing Paper – an overview of education technology (EdTech) implementation and use in UK schools 2023’. This briefing paper uses independent data, commissioned by BESA, to provide guidance to school leaders on the purchase, implementation and impact of edtech. It indicates current national trends in edtech and provides key leadership questions to assist school leaders when developing digital strategies. 

Training, planning, implementation and the impacts of edtech 

Overall, the findings indicate that while schools are making progress in implementing and using edtech, there are still significant challenges and areas for improvement. Many school leaders need further training and support, time to plan and implement edtech initiatives and a better understanding of its potential benefits. In addition, school leaders must balance the need to provide their pupils with access to edtech considering the requirements of current school accountability measures.  

Many schools also lack robust edtech infrastructure, such as a large, high-capacity wi-fi network.

Improving school connectivity for impactful edtech 

Analysis of schools fulfilment of the Department for Education’s ‘Digital and Technology Standards’ shows that 46% of primary schools are meeting the standards to some or a significant extent; and 71% of secondary schools are meeting the standards to some or a significant extent. The majority of schools have good access to devices and internet connectivity, but there is still room for improvement in the quality and reliability of these services. Many schools also lack robust edtech infrastructure, such as a large, high-capacity wi-fi network.  

Edtech impact varies across schools, subjects and phases 

The use of edtech in schools is increasing, with the vast majority of schools reporting that they use edtech in their teaching and learning. However, how edtech is used varies. For example, the use of edtech is becoming increasingly common in secondary schools compared to primary.  

Key questions to assist leaders with edtech implementation 

The report also provides a number of leadership questions for consideration as well as a Quick Audit Tool to help school leaders make informed decisions about their school’s edtech provision. 

Findings from the ‘Education Technology Briefing Paper Overview of education technology (EdTech) implementation and use in UK schools 2023’ report will be shared by BESA and Naace at the Bett Show in London, UK on Thursday 30th March 2023. Find out more and sign up at https://uk.bettshow.com/agenda-2023  

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