Still waiting for most schools to begin to value the deep digital skills that our kids need.
Digital skills are now vital for education and employment: we know that you’re 25% more likely to get work when you have web skills, and, once in that job, you’ll earn 10% more. Unison, the biggest public sector union, has just conducted a skills survey of some of its 1.3 million members. Almost half of middle-aged, low-paid women (cleaners, catering staff, carers) argued that lack of digital savvy was their most serious skills gap. Our figures show that 4 million of the 8.7 million UK adults who have never used the internet are from our hardest-to-reach groups.
Connecting more people with the web is a vital first step. But the close correlation between disadvantage and digital skills underscores what a vast untapped market there is for great, innovative educational tools to reach and engage our hardest-to-reach groups.
There is a large and growing body of evidence that shows that technology can transform people’s experience of education. The clever use of technology lets students study at their own pace, using interactive, collaborative, conversational teaching modules, supported by teachers who can tailor their support to individuals’ needs. This is hugely significant, especially for those who might have had bad experiences of the traditional classroom environment first time around.