New EEF guidance report published: ‘Using Digital Technology to Improve Learning’

The Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) has published its latest guidance report today, Using Digital Technology to Improve Learning. The report reviews the best available evidence to offer schools four recommendations of how technology can improve teaching and learning.

Schools spend an estimated £900 million each year on education technology. However, an overarching recommendation in the report is that technology itself is unlikely to improve young people’s learning.

Put simply, this means buying a tablet for every pupil is unlikely to boost pupil attainment. But the pedagogy behind it can. So, if those tablets are used purposefully – for example, increasing the quality or quantity of practice pupils undertake through a quiz app, or the precision with which feedback on misunderstandings is provided – they stand a much better chance of doing so.

The report – which is free to download here – also includes guidance on tailoring school communications to encourage parental engagement and offering more intensive support where needed.

This guidance report sits alongside the EEF’s nine other guidance reports – focused on literacy, maths, science, metacognition, effective implementation, parental engagement and making best use of teaching assistants – providing the basis for an overall advance towards evidence-informed school improvement.

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:

We live in a digital age. Technology has transformed how we do things, from communication with friends and family to learning about the world around us. The pupils we teach do not know a life without it. The opportunities it offers us to improve education are truly exciting.

The question is no longer whether technology should have a place in the classroom, but how technology can most effectively be integrated in ways which achieve improved outcomes for young people. But, as technology advances at lightning pace, it can be difficult for schools to decide which innovations to commit their scarce time and resources to.

This guidance report is designed to support senior leaders and teachers to improve teaching and learning to make better-informed decisions based on the best available evidence we currently have.