The use of technology in teaching and learning in Further Education is widespread, but its full potential is yet to be realised. That’s according to two reports, The 2019 Teacher Digital Perspectives Survey and The 2019 Learner Digital Perspectives Survey, published today (14 June 2019) by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF).

Research for the reports – undertaken by Opinium for the ETF – investigated the experiences and opinions of teachers and learners around their attitudes towards digital technologies in the classroom, current use of them and aspirations for their use in the future.

Teachers reported widespread use of digital technologies in their professional lives, with only six per cent saying they used them rarely or not at all. Eighty per cent used them in planning their teaching, 65% for using different approaches to teaching and 61% for assessment. Students were also prolific in their use of technology, with computers used by 82% and mobile phones by 74% of those surveyed. More than a third of both teachers (39%) and learners (35%) reported the use of virtual learning environments and more than half (54% of teachers and 55% of learners) used online communities such as Google Drive or Moodle.

Against an overall picture of the widespread use of technology in the sector, the reports do highlight some differences between how it is used in different types of provider institution. Staff in General FE Colleges were more likely than colleagues in Sixth Form Colleges to use technology to take different approaches to teaching, support learners to develop employability skills and for self-development. Teachers in Independent Training Providers were far more likely to use technology for face-to-face teaching (80% compared to 56% in other providers).

Differences in how the technology available in different providers is regarded by staff were also highlighted. Sixth Form College teachers were more likely than colleagues in General FE Colleges to describe both the hardware and software available at their institutions as ‘functional’ and ‘easy to use’. They were also more likely to describe the hardware as ‘well-maintained’ and ‘up-to-date’ and the software as ‘compatible’.

Although learners generally expressed satisfaction with both the hardware and software they used – 88% thought the hardware ‘functional’ and 86% ‘easy-to-use’, and 85% described the software as ‘easy-to-use’ and 84% as functional – there were some notable differences between learners on courses at different levels and at different provider types. Although 92% of level 3 students described the hardware they were using as ‘functional’, only 77% of students at entry level to level 2 agreed. And while 70% of leaners at General FE Colleges described their software as ‘fast’, only 54% of their peers at Sixth Form Colleges agreed.

Teachers (44%) and learners (45%) alike identified the most significant barrier to the greater use of technology as the restrictions caused by classroom design including access to WiFi and/or hardware. Both groups also cited unreliable IT infrastructure and not having the right hardware or software as issues. But while teachers cited a lack of time for digital content creation as the second most significant barrier – 38% thought so – in the view of students it was teachers’ lack of confidence in their digital skills (38%).

Teachers and learners alike reported that they would like more support to help them use technology more.

Vikki Liogier, the ETF’s Head of Learning Technologies, said:

“These reports paint a picture of widespread use of a range of digital technologies for a variety of purposes across the Further Education and Training sector. They also highlight some familiar issues with barriers to even greater use, including well-recognised problems with the fabric of providers’ premises.

“Despite these issues, there is evidence of a clear appetite amongst learners and teachers for the chance to make greater use of technologies and it is important that they are supported to realise this potential. The ETF plays a key part in supporting teachers through the range of resources and learning it provides.”

The reports are available on the ETF website. Support for the use of digital technologies by teachers and tutors provided by the ETF, including the Digital Teaching Professional Framework and the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform, are available via the EdTech Support page.

You may also be interested in these articles:

The Ufi VocTech Challenge – what does it mean for FE? #VocTechFutures Episode 3

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page