Researchers seek teacher and parent views on home education technologies

Written by: Dorothy Lepkowska | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

Researchers have launched a survey into the success – or otherwise – of the huge range of learning technologies being used during the school shutdown.

The ed-tech accelerator, EDUCATE, which is based at University College London (UCL), is inviting heads, teachers and parents to respond to a questionnaire to find out how effective remote learning has been in recent weeks, and what can be learned from the experience.

Rose Luckin, professor of learner-centred design at the UCL Knowledge Lab and founding director of EDUCATE, said the shutdown of schools had presented the ed-tech industry and the education system with a unique opportunity to carry out a study into the phenomenon.

“There is a need for facts, data and evidence to demonstrate the value, or not, of the unprecedented way in which technology is being used to support teaching and learning during the school lockdown,” she said.

“We have never had an opportunity before for such a widescale experiment, so it is essential that we use it to generate evidence about the impact and effectiveness of technology at this difficult time.

“Many companies have been offering their technology products and services for free, which is enabling many more people to try them, so it makes sense to understand how it has played a role in the learning process.”

The findings of the survey, which takes three minutes to complete, will be used to evaluate the use of technology for remote learning to help inform the education system after the lockdown and in the event of school shutdowns in the future.

EDUCATE researchers hope the input from schools and families will also provide important feedback to the ed-tech companies who have promoted their products for use during the pandemic.

Prof Luckin added: “This is an anxious time for schools and families, as everyone is adapting to this new way of working, and for an unspecified period. Our aim is to try to derive something positive from this unique experiment. It will help us to learn much about the future of educational technology developments – and to shape the future of our education systems.”

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