“The Proof, Promise, and Potential of Digital Education” NESTA Report

Decoding Learning

This NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) report was highlighted on the BBC News website this morning with the text that caught my attention – “there is clear evidence that technology can boost learning”. Powerful words. What’s worse, however, is that it also confirms what we’ve all thought for a while now, that while “digital technology that has the power to transform education [it] often sits in boxes because teachers do not know how best to use it, a study claims.”

Excellent news, proof that we’re all talking sense then when we try and use current and emerging technology in a manner to improve what we do and how students can use it to their advantage? When talking about expensive technology, the report found that

“they say that too often they are used without a strong understanding of their power to transform education, and many schools still use technology to support 20th Century teaching methods and learning objectives.”

I wonder, has anyone actually explained to these Schools’ what they’re buying, or is just someone sat down with a catalogue and a budget and told they have to spend the budget, even if they don’t need or want it, or they don’t get anything next year, when they may need it? Do Schools get any training on the tech they buy other than “this is how you switch it on and connect to it the network”? Anything contextual or helpful is probably left to the School’s ICT Co-ordinator to figure out for him/herself.

“We have lots of examples of brilliant use of technology from all over the world and this report brings them all together.”

Excellent, I’ll be spending some time reading this then. Click the image above or use this link to download the full ‘Digital Learning’ report.