Edtech UK Global Summit

After a six-year silence on 'edtech', civil servants are working on a strategy, writes Kriss Baird

The health of the UK’s edtech community was celebrated at the Edtech UK Global Summit at London's City Hall last week. But it was more than just a cheerleading event from Ty Goddard and Ian Fordham who run the learning technologies and ICT pressure group Edtech UK and the think tank Education Foundation

It included an appearance by Bridie Tooher, the former PWC consultant who was appointed head of edtech policy and data strategy at the Department for Education (DfE) in August. So does the DfE have an edtech strategy yet?

What started as an international education 'dragon's den' has taken wing for Broadclyst

Staff and pupils from Broadclyst Community Primary School, Devon, visit London on Wednesday (October 12) to celebrate the astonishing success of their second Global Enterprise Challenge (GEC) that has reached 700 students aged 9-12 in 200 teams across 20 countries.

They are joined by this year’s winners, from the Lebanon (above) via Skype, for an awards ceremony at Microsoft’s London base and the launch of the 2016-17 event which has been extended to involve secondary students (aged 12-15). Secondary schools from the Dominican Republic, Spain, Jordan, the Netherlands, USA and Albania have already signed up.

Ipaca team

IPACA students the judges at a prestigious learning spaces event in Philadelphia

A team of girl 'Gateway Learners’ from Portland Academy (known as IPACA) in Dorset earned a special commendation from judges in the US for their contribution to the International Schools of the Future Competition (Schools Next) in Philadelphia.

David Schrader, vice chair of judges, said, "The design process that the IPACA learners had participated in, through their PBL [project-based learning] approach, showed a depth of understanding of flexible and adaptable learning spaces of the future.

TeacherIn team

The dominance of agencies providing schools with supply teachers is facing a challenge from TeacherIn

"Digital disruption". It's a term beloved of edtech 'gurus', but for the rest of us it can often be experienced as confusing, unsettling and expensive – simply disruptive.

However, UK teachers and schools are signing up for a new app, which is already established in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. And it could cut "in excess of £10,000" from schools' supply teacher bills.

A report by online recruitment service Hired, timed for National Coding Week, identifies employment areas where skill are most in demand. They are data, security (now a premium area following well publicised data breaches), Python, Ruby, UI (user interface) and UX (user experience).

"Mind the Gap: A Report on the UK's Technology Skills Landscape" also warns that the situation is likely to be further exacerbated by the UK's 'Brexit' withdrawal from Europe.