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Governments must work with others if education is to be delivered effectively in the future

Governments must work with others if education is to be delivered effectively in the future

08 April 2021

Our latest report, ‘Education: The journey towards a digital revolution’ explores the global impact of digital learning, reflecting on what we have learned and what the future could hold for education.

Read the full report here

The pandemic has paved the way for a hybrid model in education, combining digital and traditional methods of teaching and learning. Our latest report draws on insights from our internal experts across 7 countries—the UK, Brazil, South Africa, Pakistan, India, Spain, and Turkey—as well as from hundreds of teachers globally, and extensive secondary research. With the pandemic affecting more than 1.7bn students worldwide over the past 12 months, the report analyses how teachers, students, and parents adapted to new ways of delivering education, and will continue to utilize digital learning tools and resources to shape educational practice in the future.

While there were clear trends across all regions surveyed, there were also similarities across all markets:

  • 98% of OUP’s experts said they believe digital learning will be firmly embedded in teaching practices in the future
  • The factors deemed to have impacted the most on the effectiveness of digital learning were socio-economic barriers (79%) and uncertainty in day-to-day life caused by the pandemic (74%)
  • Long-term impacts of the pandemic such as the digital divide and the impact on wellbeing need to be addressed. 70% of OUP’s experts concluded the shift to digital learning has raised concerns about student wellbeing, and 85% believed that learners from disadvantaged backgrounds have fallen behind their more advantaged peers
  • 43% of teachers said they were confident in delivering digital learning before the pandemic, 93% now feel confident or very confident
  • Curricula needs to evolve so that learners develop the core skills needed to navigate future uncertainty and become ‘digitally fluent’

The report urges governments and educators globally to address the challenges brought about by a year of educational disruption and ensure that positive developments from the past year are not lost. Using the findings of our research, we make key recommendations, including:

  • Governments should actively collaborate and learn from teachers and students and use their recent experiences to inform future policy and curriculum development.
  • Governments need to work with institutions to address the digital learning divide, not just now, but for the future too.
  • Wellbeing must be considered as part of education policy as digital becomes increasingly embedded in education¬—including support for teachers and parents.
  • Curricula should evolve to provide learners with the skills they need to be both digitally fluent, and adaptable to whatever the future holds.

Daisy Christodoulou, OUP author of 'Teachers vs Tech? The case for an Ed tech Revolution', said of the research: ‘COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we teach and learn. How many of these changes will persist, and how many will be abandoned? This report draws on evidence from schools and universities around the world to find out the digital strategies that have worked well, and the work that still needs to be done.’

Nigel Portwood, CEO of Oxford University Press, spoke about the research: ‘The coronavirus pandemic has, unsurprisingly, prompted a rapid increase in the adoption of digital learning. As we start to reimagine what education may look like in the future, it is imperative that the government—and indeed, governments all over the world—learn from those who have been on the frontline, delivering and receiving learning. We have a huge opportunity to learn from all our experience to develop education systems that will work for both local and global society.’