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80% of FE tutors admit technology improves quality of teaching

Adult education has become the latest sector to wholeheartedly embrace technology after 80 per cent of further education [FE] tutors admitted that it improves the way they work even though most still want more to be done to encourage its use.

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Research released today by City & Guilds reports that FE tutors of all ages are embracing technology and using it in a variety of different ways in order to improve the teaching being given.

Three quarters of the 600 FE tutors surveyed stated that it’s useful for tracking student progress, a similar number [74 per cent] find it helpful to conduct tests, and 72 per cent see it as an important way to share materials with students outside contact time.

Even so, the use of technology is still being hampered and FE tutors point to a lack of investment as well as a shortfall in appropriate training, support and time for experimentation as major reasons for lower levels of growth.

“Using technology in teaching and learning is no longer optional and tutors want and need to embrace the digital future and the onus is on the sector as a whole to ensure that they are not held back. It is crucial that we ensure tutors have access to the time and support they need to become confident practitioners, and for senior management to ensure that resources are forthcoming,” stated Kirstie Donnelly, UK MD of City & Guilds.

In this regard, two thirds admitted that more time to experiment will encourage them to use technology, 59 per cent want training given that is more specific, and 62 per cent think there is a lack of time to properly explore all options. Better training will also give the 29 per cent that lack confidence to try new technology more of a push to experiment.

When it comes to investment, 74 per cent said a lack of finance is one of the biggest barriers to technology use and 44 per cent don’t use technology as it isn’t available. Only 16 per cent of those questioned have access to virtual reality technology and 25 per cent have cloud access with 51 per cent feeling that changes to the funding system will help.

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This being said, 71 per cent of those in leadership positions at colleges have encouraged its use and the higher this number gets, the better chance there is that technology is used more at FE level.