Director of Digital and Assessment, Pearson
Teachers, as well as students, had to adapt quickly to online learning and assessment. Now, many agree – it’s here to stay.
Digital transformation in the education sector has accelerated faster than anyone could have imagined as schools adapted almost overnight to online learning.
Les Hopper, Director of Digital and Assessment within Pearson School Qualifications, estimates that despite challenges, three to five years’ progress with edtech was made in a single year as education was transformed by online learning.
“Teachers rapidly engaged with the many tools out there and are using them creatively to find new ways to enhance learning,” he says. “Now, with increased digital skills and boosted confidence, they are exploring how technology can further support them and their students in the future.”
In fact, 75% of school and college leaders and teachers feel more teaching and assessment should be supported through technological solutions – according to Pearson’s Future of Qualifications and Assessment research. Students agree – 90% of UK learners surveyed in Pearson’s Global Learner Survey 2020 believe online learning will be a permanent part of education.
So, what next? Crucial to advancement in schools will be the ongoing collaboration between educators, tech companies and publishers.
Such feedback and the learnings of recent months are fuelling innovation at Pearson – from free online learning support to the development of new digital services that connect and personalise teaching and learning wherever and whenever they happen.
Teachers are being encouraged to also use online communities and events such as Pearson’s Digital Live to share experiences of how technology works best for them.
Teachers have engaged with the many tools out there and are using them creatively to find new ways to enhance learning.
Looking to the future
Edtech is increasingly being used to support personalised learning journeys and the future will see more use of automated insights and artificial intelligence (AI). These tools can spot learning patterns, revealing how a class is performing, supporting teachers with identifying which students might be struggling or need to be challenged further.
“Already, we’re hearing how data and insights are shaping more effective and adaptive learning experiences – particularly for students whose learning has been significantly affected by the pandemic,” says Hopper.
He added that edtech’s future success will rely on digital tools meeting the needs of the education community and ensuring digital solutions complement face-to-face teaching and training.
“It’s time to build on the current momentum for tech-enabled learning,” says Hopper. “We can all play an important role in helping close the digital divide and improve accessibility – advocating for internet connectivity, as well as suitable devices to families and working with schools in underprivileged areas. With this, technology could become one of education’s great levellers.”