What’s the Future for Technology in Primary Schools?
Thu 22 March, 2018
A 2007 report by Becta celebrated the technology in primary schools, stating how ‘nearly all primary and secondary schools reported having access to desktop computers, laptops and interactive whiteboards,’ with the average number of interactive whiteboards in primary schools having risen from 6.1 to 8.
Almost a decade on, it is hard to imagine any primary school without interactive whiteboards in every classroom – and that’s at the very least. Now, however, the original interactive whiteboard is in decline, and new technologies are coming to the forefront. So what is the future for technology in primary schools?
In a Guardian article, Matt Britland makes a convincing argument in which he puts forward that infrastructure, in the form of a fast and reliable Internet connection, has to be in place regardless of anything else. Technology is constantly evolving and moving forward in ways that we cannot necessarily predict, but a stable Internet connection will be at the heart of it all.
Britland believes that the cloud is the future of technology in schools; he envisages a world where teachers are able to set work online, students can instantly access it and then subsequently submit work and read their feedback. Although it may sound complicated, future generations are already extremely technologically advanced, being surrounded by iPads, tablets, games consoles, and phones. Technology is key to their entire future lives, becoming part of every work environment, and it would be an oversight not to embrace that amongst teachers and students. The cloud is a way to work from wherever you are, whenever.
In terms of the immediate future, Steve Meany, CEO at Information Transport Solutions, argues that one possibility is to replace the interactive whiteboard with Interactive Touchscreen Displays (ITDs). Meany points out that these would save money, be energy efficient, and may even be more engaging.
Whether this future technology in primary schools is all a good thing, however, is a point of contention. that children are finding it harder to hold pens and pencils due to an excessive use of technology at an early age. Cambridge University, meanwhile, is >span class="s1">considering typed exams due to the deterioration of handwriting. As our society moves closer and closer to an entirely technological world, children’s skills are going to move away from these traditional abilities. Yet, it is important to remember that just as society may lose some skills, we are gaining more in how we engage with technology. We are transforming, rather than deteriorating.
It remains to be seen how our future will be shaped by this increased use of tablets, phone and other gadgets. For now, however, technology in primary schools is the tool for better engagement and more practical teaching, from anywhere, anytime.