The key messages in this Spotlight reveal that:

  • Educational technology (edtech) has increased in popularity, use and availability since the pandemic.
  • Notable advancements in technology, for example, the development of artificial intelligence (AI) language models such as ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, have occurred within the last few years.
  • Although edtech is often presented as a panacea for improving a range of teaching and learning outcomes, not all uses of edtech deliver the intended benefits.
  • Some edtech (including AI language models such as ChatGPT) is intended to better support teachers, reduce their workload and/or promote more effective school management; however, appropriate training and professional learning will better enable teachers and other education professionals to fully capitalise on these benefits.
  • A repeated pattern has become apparent in edtech
    • There is hype and enthusiasm for using new technology in education
    • Early adopters achieve promising outcomes in initial trials
    • Widespread adoption shows mixed results
    • Hype for the latest tech (step 1 repeating) means that interest shifts to the new tech.
  • The evidence base demonstrates that the quality of pedagogy has a more significant impact on student outcomes than edtech usage.
  • There is substantial evidence that, even when edtech is student-centred and well-integrated, teacher input (critical thinking, contextualising feedback, etc.) is essential for student learning. As such, edtech does not reduce the need for highly skilled, professional teachers.


  1. Phishing is an attempt to fraudulently obtain personal information (such as credit card details or passwords) via a message falsely claiming to be from a legitimate and often well-known organisation, such as a bank or government department.
  2. A collaborative (or cooperative) learning approach involves students working together on a learning activity or task. Well-structured tasks that promote collaboration between group members show the greatest impact on student learning.
  3. The cognitive theory of multimedia learning posits that we recognise and process information from two channels: a verbal channel and a visual channel that recognise words and images, respectively (Mayer and Moreno, 2005).
  4. Situated learning refers to the concept that learning requires both knowledge and practice in authentic settings; that is the knowledge is gained in context of the situation. XR is thus well positioned to enable situated learning. Situated learning also emphasises relationships and interactions with others in order to build understanding.
  5. This article summarises research available up to 10 October 2023. Given how rapidly both technology and research within this area can evolve, readers may wish to consider more recent evidence when making decisions as to how best implement edtech within their own practice area.