Top technology companies like Microsoft and Google are set to work with schools to support staff professional development, cut teacher workloads and improve outcomes for students. The application of technology in schools is set to be transformed by a new, far-reach government EdTech strategy. The new strategy was unveiled at the Schools and Academies Show in London, with an injection of £10 million to support innovation. Collaboration is key.

Teachers and education experts will collaborate with innovative tech companies to develop new technologies that will tackle common challenges. Those working in education need to be equipped with all the necessary skills to meet the needs of their pupils, and technology needs to be up to the task of supporting this goal.Exports from the EdTech sector are currently worth an estimated £170 million for the UK economy. It is hoped that this new strategy will deliver on an ambition to attract leading tech firms to work in the education sector to create innovative solutions, and the signs from Google and Microsoft suggest it’s working.

The key challenges that need to be addressed include:

✔ Reducing the marking workload of teachers

✔ Increasing training opportunities for teachers through technology

✔ Making improvements to anti-plagiarism software to tackle the problem of essay mills

✔ Promoting the use of technology to help pupils with special educational needs and disabilities providing a level playing field.

As part of the strategy, leading developers of assistive technology and education experts will make their recommendations to the government on ways technology can support learners with conditions like autism and dyslexia.

There will be a new EdTech Leadership Group will be established to bring educators together and make commitments to determine the future use of educational technology. The UK’s innovation foundation, Nesta, will also be consulted to help find possible solutions for various technologies.The collaboration is already stimulating industry interest. Google and Microsoft are already major players in the EdTech industry, and they are set to offer their resources and expertise to develop new products that will meet the needs of teachers and students alike. Schools and colleges spend hundreds of millions every year on digital technology, and it is time they were getting maximum value for these investments with regards to student outcomes, teacher workloads and saving money.

As a Microsoft Partner we will be in the loop to help deliver facets of this new technology. We already have an active interest in this field. As more information is released we will be positioned to help advise, design and implement any solutions. However, please do contact us now to discuss how we can inform and assist.

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