Sheffield Hallam University has been announced as one of three delivery partners for part of the Department for Education’s (DfE) ‘EdTech’ strategy to encourage digital innovation in schools and colleges.
Speaking at the world’s largest education technology show today (22 January), Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore announced Hallam’s Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE) as one of three deliver partners to develop a network of demonstrator schools and colleges to support peer-to-peer learning in the use of technology.
Education Technology charity London Grid for Learning and the Education Foundation are the other two partners supporting the roll out of the DfE’s EdTech Demonstrator Programme – part of the EdTech Strategy in England which was launched in April 2019 that aims to transform technology in education and solve key challenges within the education sector.
The new coalition will work together to support leading schools and colleges in showcasing and sharing how education technology can be used for maximum benefit, creating a national network of best EdTech teaching and learning practice.
Research by the DfE has revealed that schools and colleges face many barriers to the effective implementation and use of education technology within their institutions, including concerns about costs exceeding tight budgets, a lack of understanding of the benefits technology can bring, as well as limited training and confidence in using EdTech.
The overall plan as announced in the EdTech Strategy April last year (realising the potential of technology in education) – supported by £10 million of funding – will advance digital innovation by enabling teachers, lecturers and other education thought leaders to work with experienced schools who will share their excellent practice across the nation, formulating innovative strategies to solve crucial challenges within the education sector, including:
- Reducing teachers’ workload in relation to marking
- Boosting training opportunities for teachers
- Discovering how anti-cheating software can be developed
- Identifying how technology can be used to promote inclusivity for young people with special educational needs and disabilities
Sean Cavan, Head of Business Engagement at SIoE and university lead for the programme, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with these prestigious organisations and fantastic schools for the benefit of the education sector.”
The Sheffield Institute of Education is a national centre of education, recognised for its excellence and innovation in teaching and learning from early years to higher education as well as its contribution to research, evaluation and knowledge exchange. It has received an ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted for its early years’ teacher training and an excellent Ofsted inspection of its Teach First provision.