Given the significant shift in education policy since last year’s election, this year’s BETT conference was of particular interest as it was one of the first opportunities for industry and the education community to come together and reflect on the impact of these changes.
Despite leaving university just over three years ago, the show illustrated to me just how much has changed in terms of the technology that is now available to enhance learning. The changes since I was at school are even more dramatic as then we were only just starting to use the internet for research and using an overhead projector was about as advanced as it really got.
I spoke with a number of teachers about how they are using technology in their school and also their reaction to latest government policy. Some teachers expressed concern about the impact of closing Becta and were not convinced that the coalition is fully appreciative of the positive contribution that technology can play in education. In contrast, other teachers made clear that they were excited at the recent policy shift and argued that teachers will relish the absence of an overly prescriptive steer from the centre. It was interesting to hear from one teacher in particular who said that the debate around technology and education is too often shaped by what teachers want and not enough attention is paid to what students expect and what they value.