Education technology for remote teaching

Matt Walker, Eleanor Bradley, Caroline Sharp, Hilary Grayson, Gustavo Lopes and Jess Chu

24 November 2022

Research report on the GOV.UK website

The global outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent partial school closures significantly disrupted education in England and across the world. The national lockdown periods created an unprecedented need for remote teaching and learning solutions.

This research forms part of larger DfE-commissioned programme of evidence-based research into education technology. This qualitative study, which involved interviews with teachers and senior leaders in 16 case-study schools and colleges focused on remote teaching. For the purposes of this study, remote teaching is defined as ‘a teacher teaching a live lesson from a different location to some or all of the pupils; for example, a teacher at home and children in class, or a class split between multiple locations’.

Key Findings

  • For most case-study schools and colleges, live teaching was a novel approach introduced as part of an emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Some schools replicated the normal school day, offering live-streamed lessons in place of face-to-face lessons. Others offered a more limited number of live lessons.
  • Case-study interviewees used one of four applications to deliver live video lessons: Microsoft Teams; Google Meet; Zoom; and Adobe Connect. They also used a range of supplementary applications.
  • Schools and colleges reported that remote teaching worked well when it was user-friendly, cloud-based, consistent across different devices and where it enabled integration between applications and platforms. Conversely, it worked less well when users faced resource constraints or technical problems, where pupils were camera shy and/or reluctant to engage in learning, and when teachers lacked the skills or confidence to deliver high-quality lessons.