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UK: The future of online learning: challenges, opportunities and creativity |

UK: The future of online learning: challenges, opportunities and creativity | | Education |

Professor Sugata Mitra's suggestion that children should be allowed to use the internet in exams has sparked a new level of debate about online learning.


Speaking at a British Council debate last year, the academic – whose debut novel inspired the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire – suggested that this would inspire teachers and encourage children to become more independent learners.


So are schools currently using the internet to its full potential? Do current approaches to teaching and learning get the best out of children? Or are concerns about safety and security stifling their creativity?


These were some of the questions raised at a recent debate hosted by the Guardian, in association with Zurich Municipal.


In the opening part of the discussion, participants were asked to share their experiences of effective online teaching and learning. While there was agreement that access to new technologies – particularly iPads and other tablets – can greatly enhance learning, this must be accompanied by good practice, it was said. "It troubles me that schools are buying iPads because they think that's going to make the teacher better – it won't," said Maggie Kalnins, CEO of education charity Inclusion Trust. "It's a tool they can use to make the [learning] experience better."


Good teaching isn't about having all the answers, but about helping children learn how to learn. "It suits learning where the teacher is no longer the deliverer but the facilitator," said Sue East, headteacher at St Andrew's primary school in Bath.


But some teachers are wary of online learning, said Matt Britland, director of ICT at Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton, south-west London, who described how it took him two years to persuade colleagues at a previous school to embrace Facebook groups (private groups where people can have discussions and share photos, articles, videos and other content). "As soon as you say 'social', 'online' and 'education', people go: 'Oh, I'm terrified of this.' Because they think social is cyber-bullying, Facebook, all the stuff you read in the Daily Mail and everything else. And they're a little bit scared."


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
KidsDailies's insight:

Good teaching is about helping children learn how to learn!

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An interview with Ben Foss

An interview with Ben Foss | Education |
Please join us for a conversation with Ben Foss, author of the Dyslexia Empowerment Plan, BEN FOSS is a prominent entrepreneur and activist and the founder of Headstrong Nation, a not-for-profit organization serving the dyslexic community.
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