The saying ‘stronger together’ is especially true in education. Teaching isn’t a job that should be done in isolation; we need our colleagues, peers, ideally parents (the students’ parents, and maybe our own, depending on your age) supporting us. That’s more important now than ever before because we’re at a pivotal time, with the employment market changing faster than ever; popular estimates have it that many of the jobs that children entering primary school today will do, don’t even exist yet. Technology is changing rapidly too, and the tech sector is set to be one of the dominant sectors for future growth; currently the technology sector in the UK outpaces that in other EU countries in terms of growth.
In some ways you could say that the huge range of innovative products and tools that have been designed to make learning a more engaging, creative and accessible part of a child’s development.
But we’ve witnessed one of the fastest periods of evolution in technology and the sheer volume of resources now available can seem daunting. Combine this with the fact that it’s a dynamic and unpredictable world that we’re preparing students for and the sense that that statement ‘stronger together’ makes is driven home. Navigating all this isn’t a solo job.
To fully understand the role of technology in education, we need to continue to be curious, ask questions and share our knowledge. That’s why Bett created a survey to gather insights that will be used for the Bett Innovation Index, which will explore how technology and new ideas move from awareness to adoption, and on to being embedded in education systems.
With a hazy future ahead, we need new sets of skills and insights to ensure education can work for pupils, teachers and policy-makers. Fostering these skills in existing ‘hubs’ of pedagogical excellence, such as schools already demonstrating forward-thinking by embracing coding, robotics and other STEAM-related activities, we can then share best practice and ensure the whole ecosystem develops together.
Innovation breeds innovation
The need to share best practice and information is a driving one right now. The inspiring stories at Bett each year from the community of educators and innovators that has been built around Bett over the years, brings technology to life in the classroom. Add to that the companies that are starting to fully explore the potential of game-changing innovations like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR/ VR) and tech-powered adaptive learning solutions. Just as we didn’t know that the computer would go on revolutionise most industries back in 1981, we don’t know if or how these latest exciting technologies will change the face of education. We do know that this conversation is not only happening in the protected bubble of Silicon Valley. Teachers across the world are getting involved in the exploration and the creation of these solutions; they are working to find out how tech can work for them and their students and inform the development of what comes next.
The fact that people from across the world gather at Bett is something that many take pride in, and rightly so. They come to learn from our own lessons; the things that have gone right and those that went wrong. It’s the free exchange of ideas and information that makes a trip to Bett time worth spent out of school.