BETT '99: BECTA chief slams laggard teachers

Owen Lynch, chief executive of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) today slammed the lack of "revolution or evolution" in the way UK teachers are using information and communication technology (ICT).At the BETT "99 show Lynch described the present landscape as "bleak and depressing", and called on educationalists to take advantage of the "extraordinary opportunity and challenge" offered by technology for life in the 21st century.

Owen Lynch, chief executive of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) today slammed the lack of "revolution or evolution" in the way UK teachers are using information and communication technology (ICT).

At the BETT "99 show Lynch described the present landscape as "bleak and depressing", and called on educationalists to take advantage of the "extraordinary opportunity and challenge" offered by technology for life in the 21st century.

Lynch highlighted the need to train teachers not only to use technology but to ensure it is seen as an essential tool in the learning process. A 1998 BECTA survey found only 15 percent of primary headteachers and 20 percent of secondary head teachers felt ICT was making a substantial difference to learning in their schools.

Lynch drew optimism from the government's commitment to technology in schools but called on commercial bodies to form closer links with them to develop better infrastructures and long term investments. "There is insufficient dialogue between the commercial and educational world and that is clearly unacceptable," Owen said.

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