Education Technology Round Up 05/06/2012


This week has seen several surveys and studies compiled to see how educational technology is rapidly developing in schools around the world. From the use of tablets to getting the most out of tech on a mobile phone, these cases show how the education sector is embracing modern technology.

National survey shows a steady rise in use of tablets in schools

A study in the UK has shown that around 6% of all computers used in schools will be tablets by the end of 2012.

The survey, carried out by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), found that 10% of schools currently used tablets in the classroom. BESA also predicted that by 2015, around 22% of all computers in schools will be tablets.

The increase in the use of tablets reflects on the increasing popularity of tablets in everyday life and this was further supported on in BESA’s results which showed that 82% of teachers stating that pupils were interested in using the computing devices for enhancing their learning experience.

BESA’s director, Caroline Wright, was excited about the current developments in technology. In a statement, she said “this is a very exciting time for schools and educational technology providers. Schools increasingly support the view that they need to consider ways to integrate the technology and learning that pupils’ experience inside the classroom with their use of IT outside school.”

Mobile phones can be used to boost learning in developing world

A new study aims to use the growing popularity of smartphones to help improve the learning opportunities for those living in the developing world.

The study, called Shaping the Future, plans to look at how mobile phones can provide better access to learning materials either through apps or by accessing the Internet. The scheme will initially be trialled in Ghana, Uganda, Morocco and in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Those involved in the study hope that they will be able to use the research to create specialist learning services that can help improve teaching and learning resources for students. With around 80% of all internet connections being made in the developing world, many experts are keen to utilise the popularity of mobiles to spearhead the improvements.

This is reflected on by Professor John Traxler, a lecturer of mobile learning at the University of Wolverhampton, who told The Guardian that “it’s a big step in the right direction in terms of putting the possibilities in front of the GSMA’s members and raising awareness of the commercial and business opportunities education represents in the developing world.”

Educational technology advancements are meaning parents are falling behind their kids.

A report in Australia has shown that as technology plays a more important role in educations, the parents of students are finding it more difficult to get involved and help their children

The results, published in the Sydney Morning Herald, show that 47% of parents with their children in secondary education were unsure or unable to help their children use learning methods that were based online. However, the results were more encouraging for the parents who children were in primary school where 74% of parents were able to help their children take part in virtual teaching methods.

The growing rise of online resources in a child’s education was clear to see as 87% of all parents asked in the survey stated that their children used some form of virtual learning methods whilst they were at home.

When talking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Philip Argy, of the New South Wales Parent Council, encouraged parents to be more aware of virtual teaching methods. “”Many parents do not feel up to that task and part of our work … is to help parents to understand the important role internet-connected learning has in their child’s education, instead of being sidelined through technology mysticism,” he said.