Last updated: 11.07.14

How technology can affect further education teaching for the better

Teaching staff within the UK further education (FE) sector need greater support to make full use of E-learning tools and other technological innovations.

This is according to a new report from City & Guilds, which surveyed more than 600 hundred FE professionals to examine their views towards the use of technology within teaching, learning and assessment.

It was found that 80 per cent of FE tutors believe technology has the power to positively impact teaching and learning, with respondents of all ages showing genuine enthusiasm for using digital resources.

Moreover, 71 per cent of tutors say their leadership team encourages the use of new technology, suggesting the positive feeling towards teaching and learning innovations is coming from the top.

However, the report also demonstrated that professionals are not able to make the most of these new resources due to a lack of investment, uncertainty about the technology and limited opportunities for access and experimentation.

More than one-third - 38 per cent - of those surveyed say they lack confidence in learning to use new technologies, while only 29 per cent use all the technology and tools available to them.

This means enthusiasm about the digital future is not yet being reflected by uptake in the classroom, suggesting more needs to be done by those in charge of strategies and budgets to ensure that training and investment is available where needed.

Kirstie Donnelly, UK managing director of City & Guilds, said: "Using technology in teaching and learning is no longer optional and tutors want and need to embrace the digital future. The onus is on the sector as a whole to ensure that they are not held back.

"It is crucial that we ensure tutors have access to the time and support they need to become confident practitioners, and for senior management to ensure that resources are forthcoming."

This follows a report from City & Guilds earlier this year urging the FE sector to be "bolder" with its use of technology, encouraging a culture of experimentation that allows teachers to take the chance to develop new methods.