Pupils missing out on digital technology’s full potential

Pupils missing out on potential of digital technology as teacher are not “computer savvy” finds Virgin Media Business survey

School pupils are missing out on the full potential of digital technology because only 15% of teachers are “totally computer savvy”, a survey from Virgin Media Business has found.

The online survey of more than 1,000 UK teachers was carried out by YouGov on behalf of Virgin Media Business. It found that 75% of teachers are using technology in most of their lessons through interactive whiteboards, tablets and laptops.

A quarter of those surveyed said the use of technology in their lessons has improved exam grades by at least one grade.

Mario Di Mascio, executive sales director at Virgin Media Business, said: “There seems to be a growing digital divide between the technology that is available in the classroom and teachers’ ability to effectively use it.

“We call on the government to cross that divide by helping teachers understand the full benefits of using technology in the classroom and to urgently improve the support available to teachers on digital skills.

"The UK is a world leader in innovation and digital technology drives our economy. We can’t take any risk of the next generation not having the skills they need to maintain that advantage.”

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The survey found that 70% of teachers admitted not tailoring learning to digital skills needed in the workplace, while only 11% said the technology in their schools was “functioning perfectly”.

Half of the respondents said budget is the biggest barrier to the use of technology in schools and a quarter (22%) said it is the “teachers’ abilities to use technology” that poses the biggest challenge.

Oliver Quinlan, programme manager for digital education at charity Nesta, said: “Teachers need the resources and the time to develop their skills to integrate technology into their subject, to use it as a tool for learning and to teach the digital skills young people need to engage successfully with modern society.”

The survey was part of Generation Tech, a nation review of the role that technology plays in education. The review will form the Digital Youth Council later this year, which Virgin Media Business will also be a part of to give young people a voice amongst UK policymakers.

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