I’ve read with interest the publication of the EdTech Top 50 schools. It’s a fantastic initiative in highlighting the current best practice in our schools, and not least because our very own Eaton Project featured in the report. EdTech is definitely proving it can deliver positive and sustainable impact.
The report does though still leave the most important question unanswered – how much of this outstanding practice can be transferred to other settings? It’s a wicked problem but goes to the essence of what the report is trying to achieve. Our belief is that it should not just identify best practice but look at the transferability of best practice.
This is because identifying best practice really only solves half the problem. BECTA found close to a decade ago that over 40% of identified best practice could not be replicated in other schools or colleges because of leadership and/or cultural issues. It’s not just a case of looking at what works well but rather why it has worked – separating the processes from the context almost, and understanding where the learning is happening. By identifying the key elements of good practice it makes it easier to articulate those elements which can easily be transferred, thus creating an evaluation framework for transferability.
With the DfE announcing Demonstrator and Test-bed schools to launch later in the year backed my £miliions of investment there needs to be a focus now on creating an evaluation framework which ensures that evidenced best practice can be transferred. If we fail to get this right then the programme will be hugely inefficient, and the promise of an EdTech revolution around workload and attainment materially diluted.