Department for Education appoints Leadership Group to oversee its EdTech strategy

Education Sector, Government & Policy

Professor Rose Luckin has welcomed the creation of a Leadership Group to support the Government’s £10m EdTech strategy.

The founder and director of UCL EDUCATE has been advising the Department for Education (DfE) as an educational and research expert since it announced its EdTech plans in January. Professor Luckin is also the specialist adviser to the all-party Commons education select committee’s inquiry into the 4th Industrial Revolution.

She said the strategy signalled a commitment from ministers to promote EdTech innovation in the drive to improve teaching and learning.

The EdTech Leadership Group, which met for the first time this week, aims to build an evidence base to ensure that technology meets the needs of educators and students.

Professor Luckin said: “We are delighted to see that there is an understanding within the Department for Education of the need to encourage and promote the use of EdTech in schools, and a realisation that this cannot be ignored or delayed any longer – technology is already available and here to stay.”

“On the UCL EDUCATE programme, we have a clear ethos around the use of an evidence base in the design and development of EdTech, to ensure that it is suitable for use in schools, that it is robust, valid and fit for purpose. It is very reassuring to know that the Department for Education is similarly concerned about the need for EdTech to be shaped by research and evidence.”

The DfE said that EdTech exports are worth an estimated £170m to the UK economy, and the strategy will deliver on the Government’s ambition for tech firms to work with the education sector and create innovative solutions to 10 key education challenges, including reducing teachers’ marking time, boosting training opportunities and improved anti-cheating software.

Professor Luckin added that she hoped the Leadership Group would also ensure that the focus of technology design and use in education is on the teaching and learning process.

The Group is being led by Paralympian Baron Chris Holmes, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Assistive Technology. He said the group “represents a great opportunity to work together to ensure every student and our entire education system can access the benefits that technology can bring”.

The DfE is working with UCL EDUCATE partner, Nesta, which will oversee the government’s £4.6m EdTech Innovation Fund. Around 20 EdTech organisations will receive up to £100,000 to improve, evaluate and grow the reach of digital tools across four of the 10 challenge areas announced in the EdTech strategy: formative assessment, essay marking, parental engagement and time-tabling.

More information can be found here.


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