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Getting the most from EdTech – let’s start at the very beginning

For those who don’t know, Educational Technology or EdTech, is the phrase used to describe the technology that explicitly supports teaching and learning in schools. EdTech is THE buzz word in education at the moment and there’s a huge market out there to help schools achieve the very best for their pupils and staff.

At North Yorkshire Education Services, we understand that with so many products and services available it can be hard to know where to start and what’s best for your school in particular – we know all schools are different, there is no one product or service that fits all.

In this feature, our education specialist EdTech Adviser, George Tyson provides some practical advice and guidance.

Audit

Although it might be tempting to jump straight in with the lure of high tech online platforms and new shiny kit, it really is best to start at the very beginning.

Work with a specialist to review what you have now and what is working for you. An audit of your existing hardware, software, platforms, apps and anything else that plugs in, logs on or goes online will help you to understand what’s working well and what isn’t; for the school, pupils, parents and carers. This will give you a great indication of where improvements or changes need to be made.

Strategy

Next, what do you want to achieve? The DFE suggests that there are five key ways in which EdTech can positively impact on a school:

  • Administration processes
  • Assessment processes
  • Teaching practices
  • CPD
  • Learning throughout life

What are YOUR priorities? An EdTech expert can help you to pull together thoughts, ideas and outcomes into a detailed plan that will help you achieve your goals. They’ll help review your audit outcomes and work with you to understand what the market has to offer to meet your school’s specific needs. From here you will create a strategy together that utilises the right EdTech to help you achieve your objectives.

Remember that EdTech can assist your work to improve staff workload and wellbeing too, but a poor choice can undermine everything before you even begin.

Purchasing and implementation

When it comes to purchasing and implementation, make sure that:

  • You work with a specialist that’s independent and provides impartial advice; from the thousands of EdTech options, ensure you get THE BEST solutions for your school and your budget
  • You have the support and infrastructure to implement the systems properly; working with an expert is the best way to get it right first time
  • There is access to ongoing support to help get the very best from the solutions you have chosen and to support you with any upgrades and changes
  • You take the time to train your staff (and pupils) well on the system you have bought, and be clear on the expectations of use and the outcomes you intend to achieve through it

If you would like to know more about specialist EdTech support, please get in touch with George:

T: 01609 536042 (option 1)

E: schoolsict@northyorks.gov.uk

Twitter: @nyedservices

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