Technology crucial to future of education, O2 research says

Delegates at BETT vote PDAs as most likely technology to aid learning

BETT 2009, London Olympia: O2 can reveal that PDAs and handheld computers are set to become an increasingly important and successful technology within education following research conducted at the BETT show in London last week.

The research, commissioned by O2, was conducted at London’s annual exhibition for information and communications technology (ICT) in education and set out to determine the role technology plays in the education sector. It identified that the majority of participants (85%) use some form of technology in their role on a daily basis. PCs are currently the most widely used piece of technology (91%), with mobile phones and laptops also proving popular, being used by 70% and 47% of participants, respectively.

Those within the sector feel that products offering portability and interactivity will become the most successful educational resource in the long term. Portable computers such as PDAs or handheld PCs are expected to make the biggest impact, with 50% of respondents identifying them as the piece of technology most likely to succeed within the sector in the future. The availability and use of Wi-Fi (24%) and interactive whiteboards (22%) are also seen as key tools in education over the coming years.

O2 has been actively involved in the education sector throughout the last year, undertaking projects with several of the countries leading Local Education Authorities and colleges to help students engage in education. By providing a range of mobile learning solutions and e-services, O2 has been able to enhance the quality of education by increasing student’s access to learning resources, facilitating multi-media homework and helping to develop independent time management skills.

Ben Dowd, O2 Business Sales Director, commented: “These results are encouraging as we see education as a key market for the development of our products and services. The experience of each child or student is all important, and by establishing partnerships with educational authorities and institutions we can supply the equipment and the technical expertise to help improve that experience. O2 already has a proven track record in this sector with our ‘Learning on the Go’ initiative. We are in an excellent position to deliver the solutions that education professionals recognise as critical to the future success and progression of educational services.”

BETT was held at London Olympia from 14th to 17th January 2009.