Does education technology deliver ROI for schools?

This is a series of occasional blogs by BESA members and is part of their paid membership service. These views are not necessarily those of BESA and a published blog does not constitute an endorsement.

In the October 2018 budget, Philip Hammond announced an additional £400 million for schools to help source educational technologies and equipment. He described the extra £400 million as an “in-year bonus to help our schools buy the little extras they need; a one-off capital payment directly to schools averaging £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school”.

Despite this, budgetary restrictions are still high on the agenda for UK schools now, three months down the line, at the end of January 2019. The education system continues to feel pressure on its teaching resources, staff training and education technologies.

Educators are aware that today’s pupils need digital literacy skills for their future careers. Yet, according to our annual State of Technology in Education report, school leaders say salaries and operations will take up the highest proportion of schools’ budgets in the coming academic year. Technology, meanwhile, comes 5th in the list of priorities.

And whilst schools now have an (albeit small) additional budget for “little extras” like EdTech, these investments must deliver ROI to make them worthwhile. Here’s how technology can deliver ROI in your school this year:

Save your teachers valuable time

Educators repeatedly raise the issue of having to complete manual ‘box-ticking exercises’ and endless administrative duties. These tasks take time, energy and valuable resources from the school’s primary focus — teaching.

What’s more, taking teachers away from their classrooms has a knock on impact on their productivity and the overall cost to teach. By streamlining manual, paper-based processes, education technologies can support, empower and reward teachers with more time to focus on their pupils, and less on admin. It is also possible to enhance teachers’ reporting and formative assessment processes with an interactive front-of-class display and accompanying lesson-delivery software, enabling teachers to assess pupils’ understanding in real time, and giving teachers the information they need to better direct their classrooms.

EdTech drives engagement

In our State of Technology in Education survey, we found that almost all educators (94%) recognise that EdTech can improve engagement levels, and the majority (72%) think that behaviour can potentially be improved with technology.

It’s a simple equation: engaged, well-behaved pupils lead to better levels of attainment. Higher school results promote an outstanding, high-achieving school with a greater profile.

If you can provide students with high-quality devices, you’ll positively impact their learning experiences and study outcomes.

Tech that meets learning needs has greater ROI

Educational technology that is purchased for ‘technology’s sake’ rarely sees the same ROI as a carefully considered investment that addresses the goals of your school. An impressive piece of kit like a 3D printer, for example, may not drive as much long-term value as an upgradable front-of-class display like an ActivPanel. With such interactive EdTech, all pupils can engage and experiment with digital tools on a daily basis.

So, when you’re outlining your next tech investment, consider:

  1. What type of learning environment you’d like to see within your school in 2-3 years time
  2. How teaching methods will have changed and how will your tech investment support this change
  3. If your staff feel confident delivering effective, engaging lessons
  4. How new tech will be embedded into the school and what training will be required to make it a success
  5. How and where learning will take place, and what role will students play

When these goals and objectives are defined, it’s easier to identify tech that will address your school’s future needs. You’ll see a greater return on investment in the long term.

ROI is higher with the right tech manufacturer

To deliver the highest ROI from your tech investments, you should ensure you’re well covered by a warranty and that your tech partner offers extended support and training service. That way, your investment is more than a one off cost — it returns value to your school time and time again.

When you’re selecting an educational-technology product, consider whether:

  1. They understand your school’s needs
  2. You can build a strong relationship with
  3. They offer you long term support, ongoing training, excellent service and a robust warranty plan
  4. Can provide references for the above
  5. You can trust them to support your needs, going forward

So, the key to ROI isn’t just any EdTech investment, it’s the right EdTech investment.

Technology can bring valuable classroom content together to create an inspiring, intuitive learning environment. It can drive pupil engagement, raise attainment levels and increase the profile of your school. All whilst delivering value time and again. But this ROI is far higher when it addresses your school’s goals and is supported by a partner that encourages a productive and valuable relationship.

Promethean is an EdTech manufacturer focused on providing inspiring and engaging digital tools that redefine the modern classroom, always with your school’s goals in mind. It designs interactive education technologies that deliver more value in the classroom and support educators to enhance their teaching.