Tech4Teachers.

A teacher support scheme providing devices and equipment for teachers in disadvantaged communities, investigating if and how the programme helped to develop teachers’ digital skills and improve their teaching.

Project Overview

The first wave funded by Currys saw 1,000 devices to teachers who lack adequate online access, to enable them to better support 20,000+ school children in the most disadvantaged communities.  The second wave, together with the evaluation, funded by Intel and Barclays, saw 750 devices distributed to teachers.

In addition, a new collaboration room for teachers has been created on the Digital Poverty Alliance community hub. It will serve as an area for participating teachers to share best practices, ask questions, and seek guidance.

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

Intel Corporation provided funding as part of their RISE initiatives to create a more Responsible, Inclusive, and Sustainable world, Enabled through technology. Barclays also funded the scheme from Barclays 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Fund.

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.

Intel logo
Barclays logo
Currys logo

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

Context

A Digital Poverty Alliance survey of 700 teachers in 200 schools across the UK in 2021 revealed that during the pandemic, 47% of teachers did not have adequate technology to be able to teach 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?

Evaluation

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.

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. Following the scheme, the Learning Foundation will evaluate the impact and create a white paper with policy recommendations for local and national government.

This programme will help us as teachers and staff dramatically as we will be able to use more features on the laptops rather than just using stand-alone machines. This will allow us to be pro-active in our approach to teaching rather than reactive.

The Academy of St Nicholas in Merseyside

Having a laptop will have a positive impact on my ability to work from home and in different locations throughout the school. It will allow me to produce outstanding digital resources and giving students the best possible experience. I believe that access to quality technology is vital to ensure that children get a high quality education.

Uzo Nwanaga

Music Teacher, The Bridge Academy

The laptops have been a life saver! With the number of staff having to self-isolate meant that there was an increase of staff having to work from home. With over 50members of staff across the school, we certainly did not have the funds to pay for so many.

Stuart Woodburn

Head of Primary, Merchants Academy