Institute of Education


New project examining educational technology use during lockdown launches

8 June 2020

A new project examining which technology parents believe is supporting their children to learn most effectively during lockdown has been launched by UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

Boy using a tablet device at the table. Image: Kelly Sikkema

The project, ‘Educational technology and parent engagement in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic’ aims to uncover parents’ attitudes towards, and perceptions of, the use of educational technology for their children's learning during the pandemic.

Led by Melissa Bond, the project will explore the kinds of educational technology used before and during lockdown. It also aims to gain an insight into the kinds of learning activities being undertaken with educational technology, as well as how parents are assisting their children with homeschooling.

The project may enable teachers, school leaders, researchers and government policymakers to understand how educational technology has been used to engage or disengage both students and parents during the pandemic. This could help to identify future uses of educational technology to improve student learning outcomes and communication between parents and schools. The research also aims to enhance the understanding of student engagement theory and inform the ongoing development of a conceptual framework of student engagement.

The study builds on the research Bond undertook during her PhD and hopes to provide further direction for schools on how to better involve and connect with parents.

The study will be undertaken in two stages - stage one is an online survey, which will be open to all parents in the UK until 31 July 2020, and stage two will be semi-structured interviews with volunteers from stage one.

Melissa Bond said: “Parent engagement with children’s learning has been shown to be such a crucial factor in student motivation, achievement and engagement, including students’ use of educational technology. This study is an opportunity to hear from parents about, not only which tools and devices they feel have been effective or ineffective for learning during lockdown, but also what technology and activities have been used by schools to build stronger connections and closer school communities.”

Complete the survey