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IT skills gap: Teachers’ inability to use classroom tech is the biggest barrier to learning

According to a new report by Virgin Media Business (opens in new tab), only 15 per cent of teachers are "totally computer savvy" regarding classroom technology.

Over three-quarters of the teachers surveyed use technology in all or most of their lessons, with interactive whiteboards, tablets and laptops commonplace in classrooms across the country.

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Marco Di Mascio, executive sales director at Virgin Media Business (opens in new tab), said that there are fears children could be missing out on the full potential of the technology available.

"There seems to be a growing digital divide between the technology that is available in the classroom and teachers' ability to effectively use it. The UK is a world leader in innovation and digital technology drives our economy. We can't take any risk of the next generation not having the skills they need to maintain that advantage."

While half of teachers believe that budget is the most significant hurdle to technology use in schools, 22 per cent believe that it is the teachers' abilities to use the technology that poses the biggest challenge.

Around two per cent of teachers described their ability with technology as "pretty clueless," and only 26 per cent reported that their school was teaching the recently introduced coding lessons.

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The online survey of over 1,000 teachers in Britain was part of Generation Tech, a countrywide review of the role that technology plays in education. The report did bring at least one positive result for UK teachers. With 53 per cent revealing that pupils can now submit homework by email, it seems the classic "dog ate my homework" excuse may be history.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.