Tech4Schools.

The Tech4Schools scheme aimed to tackle digital poverty and digital access within schools in England. Twenty-three schools in disadvantaged communities were identified to receive funding for devices and peripherals for student use both in school and at home.

Project Overview

The Tech4Schools scheme aimed to tackle digital poverty and digital access within schools in England. Twenty-three schools in disadvantaged communities were identified to receive funding for devices and peripherals for student use both in school and at home.  

Two photos in a collage from our Tech4Teachers scheme in 2021 and 2022. On depicts a young teacher opening a laptop in a classroom, and the other depicts a teacher sat at a desk with two pupils using a laptop.

Project Partners

The scheme was a collaborative initiative between Amazon, the Learning Foundation (the parent organisation of the Digital Poverty Alliance), In Kind Direct, and Teach First.

 

Project Aims

The evaluation aims to investigate if and how the programme helped to develop teachers’ digital skills and improve their teaching, exploring:

  • The role of learners and teachers’ digital habits.
  • Teachers’ digital competencies.
  • Mobile learning.
  • The impact of post-digital on society, particularly issues of equity and access.
Young boy using a laptop at school

Evaluation

The evaluation adopted a convergent parallel mixed methods design which involved: (1) online surveys with learners, (2) online surveys with parents, and (3) online focus groups and online surveys with teachers. 

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was used to understand the factors influencing children’s intent to use the devices provided. Indicators within the TAM include intention to use, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived satisfaction.   

Key findings across all data sources  

  • Teachers and parents recognised that that there were several benefits of the Tech4School intervention.  
  • High device usage in school increased learners’ digital self-efficacy. Engagement with the scheme also boosted learners’ participation in school activities. The learner survey found that engagement with the scheme increased their reports of taking part (as an indicator of school engagement) with time.  
  • The scheme addressed issues related to device sharing among family members, which was a barrier to engaging in school activities, especially during the pandemic and for those facing digital poverty. 
  • Teachers noted the scheme’s potential to alleviate financial pressures on parents, though this aspect was not specifically highlighted by parents. 
  • Teachers advocated for expanding the Tech4School scheme, while a parent raised questions about its eligibility criteria.