Information Technology (IT) has transformed almost every aspect of our lives in the past ten years but more notably since March 2020 when the UK went into full lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked, played and learnt with digital tools that were unimaginable less than a year ago. Our schools, however, are only starting to catch up. Education remains one of the last sectors to avoid digital disruption and this was evident when schools were forced to close with very little notice and no contingency plans in place for remote learning.
Digital technology has powerful implications for learning. It opens opportunities to simplify existing tasks while revolutionising others. IT-enhanced education provides an inbuilt avenue to ensure students become digitally literate. This is fast becoming as important as reading and maths proficiency in the modern workplace.
To adequately implement these opportunities, schools face challenges. Funding, safety, training, infrastructure improvements and the adaptation of processes must all be addressed where change is often slow and, in some cases, faces resistance. It is appropriate to approach change in education with caution. No cohort of children deserves to be the guinea pigs trialling a new approach to learning. We do our children no favours, however, through ignoring IT. At best, neglecting change misses opportunities to improve. At worst, it allows old problems to continue and enables new ones to compound.