Despite the ever-rising importance of technology in Education in Europe, 42% of those responsible for IT in schools admit to not addressing adequate technological requirements in their planning. According to a study conducted by IT customers and teachers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, 38% are not proactive in incorporating new technologies in their respective schools.
This fact surfaces at a time in which Education is increasingly geared towards technology. What’s more, according to the results of the International Computer and Information Literacy Study, the majority of teachers believe that using innovative technology in the classroom proves to be an essential tool in developing work-related activities in the 21st century, especially in autonomous learning, critical thinking, problem solving in real life, reflection, communication and collaboration, creativity, and digital literacy.
Similarly, a great disparity between different European countries is evident, as some institutions clearly manage this technology better than others in the sector. In Italy, about half (57%) of those surveyed admitted to not addressing technological issues, while Spain is doing better: only 28% had the same complaint.
What’s more, in France around half (51%) of IT buyers admitted to not being up-to-date with IT trends, compared to only 30% in Spain, 32% in the UK, 40% in Germany and 41% in Italy. When they were asked what type of technology should improve or be integrated into their respective organizations, 43% of the teaching community answered laptop computers, closely followed by printers (41%).
The results of the study demonstrate that IT teams have a necessity to respond better to the needs and maintain the rhythm of new technologies in order to prevent teachers using obsolete equipment. Undoubtedly, now that the requirements are stricter, the pressure is greater than ever. To tackle these issues it’s key to change to products that are more cost-effective and easy to maintain.
Nevertheless, the absence of an up-to-date technology isn’t the only thing stopping schools from reaching their full technological potential in the classroom: the teachers need to be well prepared and to feel comfortable when the time comes to introduce new technologies and to teach how to use them adequately. Still, 31% of those interviewed gave inadequate preparation for the use of new technology as the main barrier preventing schools from getting the maximum benefits of new technology. Significant improvement is needed in the UK and Spain, where 34% and 33% of those surveyed identified a problem.
More needs to be done to bridge the gap between the classroom and the work-related world, but the good news is that schools are increasingly opening up to incorporating technology in the classroom. As an example, many schools in Europe have already adopted visual communication tools like projectors in their day to day work, which often require collaboration and team-work.
Neil Colquhoun Director of Visual Instruments Epson Europe Director of Visual Instruments Epson Europe.