An IT specialist has issued a warning to schools to make sure staff keep up with new technology to give their pupils the best chance of success. Paul Hiscox, Director of Education Services for Hexakis, fears teachers are in danger of falling behind their pupils when it comes to IT skills.
‘Jim Knight, when he was Minister of State for Schools, said a computer with internet access was now as essential as pen and paper in modern learning,’ says Mr Hiscox, whose company helps schools incorporate new technology into learning strategies.
‘School heads and staff are now, at last, starting to realise that this is right. If they don’t get to grips with this right now are going to have to play catch up very quickly,’ he added.
The IT expert, who has a ten-year background in helping schools to implement new technology, said teaching staff whose computer and tablet skills were inferior to those of their pupils were losing the attention of pupils who were ‘failing to engage.’
‘Teaching styles are having to change as schools embrace new technology. Pupils are using all sorts of devices at home and then they come into school, where teachers do not have the skills that they have, and they get turned off from learning,’ he said.
Hexakis was launched two years ago to help schools raise education standards through new technology. In the past year, working with its support network of school advisors that include Ofsted inspectors, the business has helped 30 schools in the Bristol area to harness the potential of new technology to improve learning. It now plans to expand its services nationwide.
Hexakis partners with Apple, Microsoft, Epson, Toshiba and many other market leaders to enable school heads to have direct access to the big players in the ICT industry and provides training courses and seminars at the Apple Regional Training Centre in Bristol which are free for teaching staff to attend.
‘Our success is not measured by how efficiently the equipment works or the improvements in the skills of the staff that we help, although we do, of course, provide all of this,’ said Mr Hiscox. ‘Our success is measured by the improvements in the standards of the education provided.’
Mr Hiscox said results showed pupils gained huge benefit from learning with the aid of tablets, particularly those with dyslexia and special educational needs.
He added that a recent report revealing that one in five pupils were leaving school with inadequate reading and writing skills showed it was vital that steps are taken to improve results.
‘We believe passionately in the power of technology and how it can be used to create a ‘can do’ learning environment,’ he said. ‘We understand the challenges schools face in getting this right and the cost of getting it wrong so we offer a one-to-one approach to making the new technology work for each individual school, whatever its needs.’
For more information on the services provided by Hexakis, including training courses provided in partnership with Apple’s Bristol Regional Training Centre Programme, contact Hexakis on 0117 2033636, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hexakis.co.uk.