In the 21st Century it is unimaginable that many of the UKs teachers do not have the access they need to a device and/or connectivity at home to create and deliver school work and maintain their professional development.
21st Century teaching means teaching as teachers have always taught but with today’s tools and technology. It means using everything that is important in today’s world so that their students will be able to live and prosper in today’s economy, as well as having the ability to guide students and to prepare them for the future.
And yet, in 2021, the DPA supported by Currys, Intel and Barclays discovered that 47% of teachers responding to the survey stated that they did not have the access they needed.
This has meant that a really significant piece of the jigsaw has been missing and, in 2021, the Tech4Teachers programme was launched.
In 2022, Digital Poverty Alliance, with Intel and other major companies, launched new Tech4Teachers funding to provide 550 laptops to teachers across the UK.
This new funding for Tech4Teachers will provide high quality Intel-powered refurbished Lenovo laptops to teachers in schools that need them and working in disadvantaged communities. The organisations are coming together on this project under the umbrella of the Digital Poverty Alliance, which is run by the Learning Foundation.
The campaign will provide 550 devices to teachers who lack adequate online access, to enable them to better support 20,000+ school children in the most disadvantaged communities. In addition, a new collaboration room for teachers supported by Intel and Barclays, will be created on the Digital Poverty Alliance Community Hub. It will serve as an area for participating teachers to share best practice, ask questions, and seek guidance.
The new funding for the programme will come from Intel Corporation through their RISE initiative to create a more Responsible, Inclusive, and Sustainable world, Enabled through technology. RISE focuses on Intel partnering with organisations worldwide to apply their solutions and expertise to geographically unique problems as well as global challenges. All of this follows the success of the initial phase of the Tech4teachers programme funded by Currys in 2021, which provided 1,000 laptops for teachers and teaching assistants at schools across the UK.
Impact, Evaluation and a White Paper
The project will be evaluated by the Learning Foundation and The Education Observatory at the School of Education in the University of Wolverhampton.
The Education Observatory has research groups looking at the role of learners and teachers’ digital habits, teachers’ digital competencies, mobile learning and the impact of post-digital on society, particularly issues of equity and access. These research groups are led by Professor John Traxler (UNESCO Chair: Innovative Informal Digital Learning in Disadvantaged and Development Contexts) and Professor Sarah Hayes (Postdigital lead).
Essentially the evaluation will investigate if and how the Tech4Teachers programme helped to develop teachers’ digital skills and improve their teaching. The evaluation will include both quantitative and qualitative components. This will be based on DigCompEdu, the Digital Capability and Competence Measure: (SELFIE ) and aspects of the PICRAT Technology Integration Model. The work will consider:
- What was the first response of teachers to the intervention – was it useful – did it make them feel valued/professional etc?
- What knowledge and skills do participants think they have acquired that they otherwise would not have?
- What do they now do differently than previously, how has their behaviour changed, has their confidence/competence improved? Are they more engaged with digital learning?
- What has been the perceived impact on their practice and on the practice of others?
- What has been the impact on teaching and learning, on young people – is there any evidence to support this?
More detail is available on request.
The research and experience of the project will go on to form a White Paper with policy recommendations for the Department for Education in early 2023.
CEO of the Digital Poverty Alliance and the Learning Foundation, Paul Finnis, commented: “A Digital Poverty Alliance survey of 700 teachers in schools with high levels of pupil premium across the UK in 2021 revealed that during the pandemic, 47% of teachers stated that they did not have adequate technology at home to be able to teach or manage their school work effectively. Adequately equipping teachers with suitable digital devices is vital in supporting pupils and ultimately building the necessary digital skills to tackle digital poverty. Teachers must not be forgotten by the Government or industry in efforts to ‘level-up’. How can we support children to learn how to use devices and develop digital skills if their teachers don’t have suitable technology to teach them?”
Paul Finnis, CEO of the Learning Foundation and Digital Poverty Alliance