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Elementary technology icon (cut off)A white elementary technology icon that's been cut off
Elementary technology icon (cut off)A white elementary technology icon that's been cut off
Elementary technology icon (cut off)A white elementary technology icon that's been cut off

For transparency, my ideal full English on a fair morning after a short lie in is:

  • a couple of chunky, slightly peppery sausages
  • 2 x bacon rashers - crispy around the edge
  • a fried egg - runny, sunny side up
  • a grilled tomato - but will often leave at least some of it, to be honest
  • a crispy hash brown
  • white toast and butter
  • a frothy coffee
  • No mushrooms, no black pudding, no nowt else

Except there's one, essential element which makes this probably well-deserved banquet even more of a delight at 9.30am...

Heinz Beanz - not too many. And on the plate. Not siloed off in a pot to be eaten separately.

So where's this article going? It's a light-hearted, yet surprisingly robust, metaphor for the presence and use of technology in schools.

Baked beans, as you may have deduced, are the technology. Eggs, bacon and others can be the curriculum, or they can also be different areas of a school; classrooms, reception, school hall, headteacher's office...

It's the baked beans, and their well specified Heinz recipe sauce, that permeates, often invisibly, throughout the whole plate, moistening the hash brown and balancing the crunch of the toast with a little, something.

It's the presence of the baked beans, I expect you'll agree, which brings the sausage and egg together in perfect harmony, sometimes with a little dip of the runny yolk. They improve the experience of eating each of the other foods on the plate, and you'd miss them if they disappeared.

They make the whole experience so much more delicious. So much more rewarding.

One's choice of breakfast component parts can be divisive, though. I'm not a fan of black pudding. I've had a go several times, but it doesn't work for me. Why would I eat it when I've already got a sausage?

Same applies with mushrooms - I simply don't like them. Some people do, and that's fine. Everyone's different and they don't work for me because I'm unique. Who is anyone to insist I should have mushrooms on my plate? I'm ticking all my flavour and texture boxes with the rest. So jog on, thank you.

Of course all baked beans are created equal but, let's be honest, some are more equal than others. A tin of Tesco Value beans was 9p back in my day! And I was strangely proud to have a can with with a couple of slices of 29p a loaf bread. Much to my house mates' displeasure.

Quality, for me at least, is now key. Performance and value, sometimes at a premium price - it's Heinz all the way.

So I tell myself anyway. The choice is bewildering - what is actually the difference? Who do I turn to for independent advice? Some sort of Guide to Baked Beans whitepaper maybe. My mate enjoys Branston Beans - they seem decent, but I'm not sure why I think this. Perhaps they do some sort of free trial...

A white elementary technology icon that's been cut off

Date: 27th May 2022

Written by Ed Fairfield

Commercial Director, Elementary Technology
Vice Chair of Naace – the EdTech Association - a charity supporting schools on effective use of technology


Twitter: @mreddtech


Understanding your school and helping you use technology to deliver better education.