What do you think will be the main things we'll be seeing in EdTech in 2018?

If I had to choose just two, evidence-driven EdTech and an unparalleled number of collaborations in the sector. Thanks to the ground-breaking EDUCATE project, run by UCL and its partners BESA, F6S and Nesta, hundreds of EdTech start-ups are working closely with academics and teachers to ensure that they are able to demonstrate the efficacy of their initiatives. No other project exists on a scale like this anywhere in the world, and it means that teachers will be able to procure from EdTech companies with much greater awareness about the pedagogical impact their products are likely to make.

In terms of collaborations, the likes of EdTech Exchange, Bett, Edspace and – of course – BESA are facilitating meetups and discussions between founders which is leading to an unprecedented amount of pooling of ideas and resources. Look out for some exciting announcements of collaborations during the Bett Show!

What do you think will be the main EdTech challenges in 2018?

Our latest research shows that there are significant challenges in the secondary sector, not least the lack of teacher training and the fact that many teachers do not feel confident with the use of technology. These are among the reasons why only a third of secondary schools believe they are sufficiently equipped with ICT resources. While for the first time in three years, expenditure on ICT looks set to increase at both primary and secondary levels, it is vital that schools provide teachers with the training and support – and crucially, the time – needed to make full use of the education technology that has so much potential to transform the way lessons are taught.

Patrick Hayes, Director, BESA.

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