The Handheld Learning 2008 conference, held in London, UK, kicked off this morning.
First up: Andrew Pinder, Chairman of Becta, which focuses on how to use technology to support teaching and learning in schools. It will launch a “surge” to address the lack of effective and productive use of technology in schools. Why? Because research proves that, when correctly used, technology does support educational attainment and raise grades. For young people, probably the only time they’re not using technology is when they’re in school. This is puzzling and demotivating for them, especially as they know that ICT literacy is required for 95% of jobs.
The forthcoming campaign — called Next Generation Learning — is aimed at teachers and parents, to demonstrate the benefits and necessity of using technology in education. They will also lobby government to ensure home access for all. Not PCs for all, but affordable access through any device with a screen. They are talking to the corporate sector to put together packages for low-income homes. They are interested in getting a good deal for the learner that results in educational outcomes.
In January ’09 Becta is hosting a meeting of Education Departments from around the world (SA is attending) in an effort get the sentiment of Next Generation Learning being implemented globally.