Rocket Fund reveals what teachers really want ahead of BETT

​BETT, the world’s biggest education technology (edtech) show starts tomorrow (Wed 24- 27 Jan). It’s an edech extravaganza! With an amazing array of products/services, and a confusing cacophony of sales pitches. To help you navigate through the noise, last week we looked at what investors want, this week we look at what teachers want...

Technology has the power to dramatically reduce teacher workload, enhance student experiences and boost learning outcomes (if used in the right way).

The problem is: there is so much choice (as you’ll soon see if you’re attending BETT, with over 800 companies exhibiting), there is little evidence on what works, little support on how to use tech for education and ever falling state school budgets.

As a result, many students aren’t being prepared for the digital world they’re growing into. According to the DCMS 72 per cent of large companies and 49 per cent of SMEs are suffering tech skill gaps (2016). Whilst 22 per cent of IT equipment in schools is ineffective, according to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (2016), and IT budgets are falling year on year (according to BESA, 2017).

To help address this, we created Rocket Fund. It’s a crowdfunding platform for schools, designed to enable all students to access the latest technology by making it easier for schools to fundraise from businesses and their local community.

See the new video we created for BETT:

The idea is to empower teachers to choose what tech they think will have the biggest impact on their students. Or simply try something new. We believe teachers know their students best and empowering them in this way will enable and encourage more teachers to experiment with the latest edtech.

A schoolboy uses an iPad to photograph a bug garden

Monkston Primary School raised money for iPads to help develop digital literacy in their Reception classes

After we’ve helped improve the innovation capacity of participating schools, we then ask the teachers for a review of the products they received. The plan is to publish these in 2018, alongside teacher case studies and lesson plans to help other teachers choose and use technology better in the future.

You may be completely bewildered by the amazing variety of products on offer at BETT this week. But fear not, many teachers already know what they want…

What tech did teachers want in 2017?

Last year, 94 schools fundraised for tech via Rocket Fund, here is a summary of what they wanted:

Products purchased via Rocket Fund in 2017 (chart)

We hope that helps you begin to navigate the world of edtech.

Two schoolkids with VR viewers

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Virtual Reality was really popular in 2017

If you’re at BETT, drop by our stand (G90) for a chat.

The next wave on Rocket Fund will launch 19 Feb.

Teachers - supercharge your school’s tech budget by creating a project here:

Suppliers - apply to to list your product on Rocket Fund.

Hopefully see you soon.

We’ll be on stand G90.

Part of
Rocket Fund


Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Senior Programme Manager

Ben was a Senior Programme Manager in the Innovation Lab's Education Team.

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