Parents want tech in schools
However, schools are not using new technology to the best advantage, according to the government’s educational tech agency.
Most parents believe having the latest technology in schools helps their children learn better, but just a fifth of schools are using it to their full advantage, according to a new survey on behalf of the government’s IT in education agency, Becta.
In a poll of 2,000 parents by research firm Populus, 95 per cent said they believed innovative tools, such as interactive whiteboards, help their children at school. Another 77 per cent believe technology helps engage children in difficult subjects, while nearly two-thirds think computers boost exam results.
Stephen Crowne, Becta’s chief executive, said: “As a parent, you want to know that your child is enjoying school; that they’re getting access to the best support; and that if they’re having any problems, you know straight away.”
The survey also showed that 91 per cent of parents believe the use of computers and the internet helps prepare young people for the world of work.
Despite this strong favour, research from Becta – which advises the government and the education sector on how best to use technology in schools – has shown just a fifth of schools are using modern technology to the fullest advantage.
“There is a gap between what parents think about the way schools are using technology and the reality – we need to close that generation gap,” Crowe said. “We want to move technology from the margins to the mainstream in our schools and colleges and make the most of the opportunities and benefits it can provide.”
Becta today launched its Next Generation Learning campaign, to help push for better use of technology in education – following the lead of Bristol Brunel Academy, the first to open under the Building Schools for the Future programme.
Crowe said: “With people increasingly interacting online and creating and using lots of different media to support their entertainment and friendships, learning which does not make the most of the opportunities provided by technology could be increasingly regarded by learners as dull or irrelevant. Businesses also need people with the skills to make the most of this new environment.”
Author: Nicole Kobie 15th January 2008