Patrick McGrath

Key Takeaways: EdTech Expo 2018

Simple and reliable. This was Abdul Chohan’s guiding principle for how tech should be to allow it to be integrated into the vision and plan for his school. It was a powerful message to send as part of the opening of EdTech Expo 2018 and certainly struck a chord with everyone there.

The need for this simplicity in technology is crucial to ensure adoption by both staff and pupils. By giving our pupils and staff confidence in technology, we start to build towards truly meaningful outcomes. When we give technology a place and a purpose, it becomes less about the tech and more about the skills, experience and independence we can create for everyone in our schools.

Led by some fantastic speakers on the day, there were a number of consistent strands evident to the hundreds of schools, colleges and academies visiting. What was clear from every speaker was the need to look wider - not just at the budget challenges, or the curriculum, but at how we must equip pupils with 21st century skills. Collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity - those skills and attributes that can successfully prepare students for study, work and life ahead. Empowering our pupils with technology can help us achieve this, but only when it's grounded in teaching and learning. 

Therein lies the problem - we often think of technology as the silver bullet, we hear about the fact that it's ‘transformative’ and ‘redefining’. So in our Texthelp session we talked about ‘Thinking Small’ - about working on the smaller things with students. Or as we referred to them - those ‘Marginal Gains’. Key pieces of strategy and technology that can be included across any subject and build those much vaunted 21st century skills. 

Take our own Read&Write - a simple tool that provides a genuine, personal learning experience for all students, offering ways to help build reading, writing, study and revision skills. For example, with text to speech we give students a tool that can boost confidence and accuracy - on their terms and when they need it. It’s a small piece of tech in the crowded space of edtech, but it’s one that makes a huge difference to many, many students.

Because sometimes, it’s all about the little things  - those things that ‘add up’ to make a much more significant difference.

Teacher? Get Read&Write here, free, forever.


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