Posted on behalf of Mike Morris, Business Manager – FE, Microsoft UK.

The Association of Colleges Technology Portfolio Group has just released the result of their recent survey on the use of technology in Colleges. The research suggests that where there are barriers to the implementation of policy, and the achievement of specific outcomes, the issues are less about particular technologies but relate more to effective management and planning processes. At Microsoft we see this all this time. New technology adoption has to be a whole college activity.

Where Colleges are effective and confident in the use of technology, the following attributes are common: 

  • The ability to manage and plan for the strategic use of technologies
  • The ability to successfully compete for funding and of how to plan for sustainable development
  • Formal, structured, staff training in the use LT
  • College wide planning and engagement of all staff in the development of a whole organisation technology strategy
  • An understanding of the rapidly evolving technological environment

Interestingly the Survey also found that Technology had the least impact in the following areas:

  • Widening participation
  • Reducing digital exclusion
  • Engaging students with disabilities and/or learning difficulties 
  • Improving retention and achievement

This was a surprise to the AoC and is also at odds with our experience at Microsoft, where we regularly deliver solutions or run programmes specifically to address these areas.  What do you think of these findings?