By Daniel Hunter

More than three quarters of teachers are using technology in their lessons, but just 15% are "totally computer savvy", according to new research by Virgin Media Business.

Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said they incorporated technology into teaching in 'all or most' of their lessons, using interactive whiteboards, tablets and laptops.

But a number of teachers said the country's schools are struggling to keep up-to-date. And it means pupils are missing out on the full potential of digital technology. A quarter of teachers even said that technology helps to boost exam results by at least one grade.

“There seems to be a growing digital divide between the technology that is available in the classroom and teachers’ ability to effectively use it”, said Mario Di Mascio, executive sales director, Virgin Media Business.

“We call on the government to cross that divide by helping teachers to understand the full benefits of using technology in the classroom and to urgently improve the support available to teachers on digital skills.

“The UK is a world leader in innovation and digital technology drives our economy. We can’t take any risk of the next generation not having the skills they need to maintain that advantage.”

More than than of the teachers surveyed said the school's budget is the biggest barrier to using technology in the classroom, but 22% admitted that “the teachers’ abilities to use the technology” was the biggest issue.

The online survey of over 1,000 teachers in Britain was part of Generation Tech, the country’s first state-of-the-nation review of the vital role that technology plays in education, which will form the first Digital Youth Council later this year to give pupils a stronger voice on the issue.

Coding is being introduced across UK classrooms for the first time this term but only 26% of teachers reported that their school was currently teaching coding.

Oliver Quinlan, Programme Manager, Digital Education, at Nesta, an innovation charity, said: “Teachers need the resources and the time to develop their skills to integrate technology into their subject, to use it as a tool for learning and to teach the digital skills young people need to engage successfully with modern society.”

Craig Thomas, Code Club's Wales coordinator, said: "Improving digital skills, and specifically coding skills in Wales is my key aim as Code Club's Wales coordinator.

"In Wales I'm hoping to increase the rather low technical literacy the article describes. It's cool to see that teachers want to increase those skills and actively use them in the classroom!

Code Club's are run in many Welsh primary schools with uptake growing. They clubs aid the children as well as the teachers.

"To move forward in Wales we need more volunteers to use their digital skills and create more clubs, and ultimately more digital opportunities for Wales," Craig said.

Do you think more needs to be done to improve digital skills? You can email your reactions to editor@freshbusinessthinking.com

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