Why is there still a digital disadvantage in UK schools?

digital technology e-spaces

Investment in digital technology is essential to prepare students for a modernized world

The COVID-19 problem may have largely gone away for schools, but the need for digital tech solutions to support children’s learning throughout their time in school grows ever clearer.

TES has reported that there is still a large gap in spending on IT resources between poorer and wealthier areas. While this may be unsurprising, it is now a pressing concern.

Investment in technology would not have been high on the list of priorities for schools pre-pandemic, but having experienced what a lack of infrastructure can do when a time of need arises, it makes sense to modernize and prepare for future challenges.

However, there are valid reasons why schools are hesitant.

Why are schools not investing in digital tech?

There are several factors that contribute to the digital disadvantage in UK schools, including:

  1. Lack of equipment: A significant proportion of schools do not have computers, tablets, and, just as crucially, high-speed internet to support online learning.

  2. Limited access to devices: Many students in low-income households may not have access to a personal computer or device, making it difficult for them to use online resources to help them at home.

  3. Inequalities in internet access: Some students may not have access to reliable high-speed internet at home, which can make it difficult to complete online assignments and participate in virtual classes.

Although the government stepped in to help schools at the start of the pandemic by providing £150 million worth of funding for devices for the most disadvantaged students, as well as for online tools, research suggested that it fell well short of what was required. Just 5% of teachers at state schools reported that their whole class had adequate internet access, while it was also found that the teachers themselves required better technology for them to do their job.

Why should poorer schools use their money for technology?

Technology is becoming increasingly important in the modern workforce, and students who are comfortable with and skilled in using technology are likely to have an advantage in the job market. By investing in technology, poorer schools can help their students develop the skills they need to succeed in the future.

Statistics on how schools coped during the pandemic make it essential that they have conversations on finding ways to invest in the right technology to improve the day-to-day experiences of teachers and students alike.

E-spaces is one such tool that can make a difference in students’ lives. Its easy-to-use app is the first in-lesson assessment tool that stores data, which not only helps them engage with each lesson and receive instant feedback but also helps identify trends in performance, which can help ensure they don’t fall behind in attainment.

Find out how your school can be involved here.

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