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Money spent on iPads could have funded 8,000 teachers

Money spent on iPads could have funded 8,000 teachers (Newscom)

Schools should stop spending money on iPads and other gadgets for students and instead use their funding to hire more teachers, said Russell Hobby - general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) - in his latest blog.

According to the British Educational Suppliers Organisation, a quarter of a billion pounds is spent on computers in schools each year - enough to pay the wages of more than 8,000 teachers or build 40 new secondary schools.

In his blog post, entitled 'Tomorrow’s World: Looking ahead to the BETT technology expo', Mr Hobby acknowledges the importance of using digital technology to teach children, but says he is "dubious" about using it as a teaching aid in non-IT subjects.

He said: "We need to separate out two dimensions of technology in schools: teaching children to use it and using it to teach children."

Mr Hobby's intervention was supported by Louis Coiffait of NAHT Edge, who highlights predictions that every UK school will have an average of 429 devices, such as iPads, by April this year.

In his personal blog, Mr Hobby continued by backing traditional teaching devices, like blackboards.

However, such methods may not be beneficial to some school children - particularly those with learning difficulties like dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Instead, they have shown to benefit from assistive technology that has been specially designed with their needs in mind. These are digital software tools that comprise a selection of games and activities which work to boost the literacy and numeracy skills of the user.

Despite Mr Hobby's claims against tech gadgets in schools, using them in this assistive way to enhance a child's education will help millions of youngsters with learning difficulties across the country.