What next for ed tech in 2018?

What's on the horizon for education technology in 2018? And what are the challenges that schools are likely to face? I invited 43 organisations to share their views. Read on for more information, and a link to the free resource that resulted from this exercise.

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Creating a culture of innovation, part 2: Make The Professional Development Interesting

In this, the second part of our new series on creating a culture of innovation, we look at why it's important to make professional development activities interesting, with some ideas on how to do so.

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Creating a culture of innovation, part 1: Conferences and exhibitions

How, as leader of Computing in your school, do you create a culture of innovation, ie of trying out new things? This is what we explore in this new ten-part series.

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New Education Secretary: some thoughts

No. 10 Downing Street, where it all happened. Photo is copyright of www.gov.uk.

No. 10 Downing Street, where it all happened. Photo is copyright of www.gov.uk.

Just as I was going to take a bit of a break from updating this website several times a week, in order to focus on a Bett guide, Bett preview and a couple of books, the Prime Minister decided to hold a cabinet reshuffle. So inconsiderate. Anyway, as part of that reshuffle, Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, resigned. She has been replaced by Damian Hinds.

I liked Justine Greening for two reasons. First, she struck me as someone who actually listened to teachers and other educationalists. Secondly, since she took over the reins at Sanctuary Buildings education technology and associated matters were back on the agenda. After several years of 'coding, coding, coding' there was suddenly a real possibility that issues such as digital literacy might be promoted -- really, not just as lip service.

Ms Greening was due to open the Bett show, which was also a good sign methinks, and I had been hoping to meet her.

So, I don't know where ed tech will stand on Mr Hinds' watch. I do know that he faces a few other challenges, such as teacher recruitment, school funding and, I should think, change fatigue. I was somewhat alarmed when I read somewhere that he is a reformist, because what I think we need for a while is a consolidationist, if such a word exists. On the other hand, he did tweet:

Delighted to be appointed Education Secretary – looking forward to working with the great teachers & lecturers in our schools, colleges & universities giving people the opportunities to make the most of their lives.

I note the use of the word 'with' as opposed to 'on' -- always a good sign!

If reform is back/still on the agenda, one especially welcome change would be the reintroduction of a wider variety of IT-related qualifications at GCSE and 'A' Level. As well as providing variety, it would probably go some way to encouraging more girls to take the subject to higher levels. (See the pretty grim statistics I cited in my article about the Royal Society report, After the Reboot.)

This website wishes Mr Hinds all the best in his new role. And if he needs any suggestions of names of educators who have been around for a few years and who also know about education technology I'd be happy to supply them.

Here's what you missed in Digital Education...

Here's a glimpse of some of the things you will have missed recently if you don't subscribe to my newsletter, including the chance to buy discounted books from Routledge and BCS -- up to 40% off in some cases. At the time of writing it's not too late to take advantage of the offers, some of which are exclusive to newsletter subscribers. Read on for details of how to subscribe. 

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14 things to check when using education technology

This article was originally published in 2008. Apart from a few obvious points, such as the references to CDs, large monitors and, in some schools these days, computer rules, very little requires changing in terms of the advice. But the interesting aspect of the article is, I think, what is implicit. Having two computers out of commission would have been an issue in those days. Bring Your Own Technology had yet to be a possibility for most pupils. Laptops were still expensive enough to make class sets of them something to dream about. There were tablet computers, but the iPad was still two years in the future. The reference to planning to use the internet: nowadays it's virtually unavoidable because so much is online. When you think about all that, it is hard to remember that the article was written less than a decade ago!

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3 education technology blog posts you should check out

A few useful articles that you may not have come across before. They cover:

  • project-based learning
  • teen depression and cyberbullying and
  • how to reduce the possibility of having your training stolen.
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