Teachers losing touch with tech skills

Fewer teachers feel competent using technology in the classroom than last year, according to a new report.

Some 75% of primary school teachers said they were confident using technology with their students, down from 80% last year, according to research by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA). For secondary school teachers, the number fell from 68% to 61%.

“This concern is not surprising considering the range of sophisticated technologies with which teachers now work,” says Ray Barker, director at BESA.

“Educators are recognising the need for professional development at all levels to ensure success in their classrooms. The big issue is ensuring that schools can afford to release staff to make the most of their investment.”

Nearly seven in 10 primary school teachers will receive IT training of some sort this year, compared to fewer than six out 10 secondary school teachers.

Over half of teachers feel well equipped with PCs, while under a third feel the same about laptops. The majority of teachers are happy with internet access in their classrooms.

Despite this, over eight in 10 believe limited access to technology is hurting the use of ICT in their classrooms, the report claims.

The report also showed that IT budgets for UK state schools will climb by £27 million to £614 million this year, excluding curriculum software. By 2009, the average primary school budget for IT will be about £15,850 and £68,000 for secondary schools.

Primary schools are expected to spend 12% more on desktops and laptops in 2009, up to £7,300. Secondary schools will spend 9% more, averaging £36,000 in those areas.

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