School children and students across Britain are set to benefit from major government investment in education technology, a top minister has said.
Speaking at the opening of the BETT 2018 event in London yesterday, Anne Milton, the Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships, outlined how investment in new technology can help children of all ages to improve their education.
With funding for new technology and education both taking major roles in the recent Autumn Statement, the Edtech market is set to grow hugely in coming years, as more institutions embrace technology to improve learning standards.
Noting that, “proper implementation is key”, Milton highlighted how although many schools often feel they lack the budget or expertise to implement technology effectively, Edtech can play a hugely significant role in teaching.
"Edtech can play a vital role as a tool for teachers in our schools, colleges and universities,” she said in her speech, “technology should reduce teacher workload - it should be another way to make education more accessible and also more inclusive."
“The UK is an Edtech hub which is at the forefront of discoveries and developments, the Minister added, noting that there are around 200 Edtech ventures in London alone, and many more around the country.
Although, "our lives are becoming inextricably linked to technology", many people (11.5 million) still say that they lack basic digital skills, Milton said, a major handicap when it comes to spurring on the so-called fourth industrial revolution.
Companies are also struggling to recruit employees with the right digital skills, she noted and may continue to do so in the future unless this shortcoming is addressed. Noting that the vast majority of jobs today need digital expertise, the minister said that today’s children need to be, “more than digital consumers, but also practitioners and creators.”
Looking forward, Milton highlighted the government is looking to enable this change with investment in both education and technology.
"We need to make sure that the enthusiasm our students have for digital skills and learning is translated far beyond the classroom and right in to the workplace."
"Improving our digital skills is at the heart of these reforms...the government wants people to be able to get the digital skills they need, our economy depends on it."