Schools failing to exploit technology

Eighty percent of schools are failing to harness the potential of technology, though 95 percent of parents feel it is key for children's education, says Becta

Four out of five schools are failing to exploit the full potential of technology to improve learning and better inform parents, according to research.

However, of the parents surveyed by the government's education technology agency, Becta, 95 percent said they feel technology is key to the education of their children.

The vast majority of respondents (80 percent) also said technology — such as interactive whiteboards — brings lessons to life and helps engage their children more effectively in difficult subjects.

It's not only at school that parents think technology will help their children, as 91 percent said the use of computers helps prepare young people to enter the workplace.

Becta chief executive Stephen Crowne said the research shows parents "understand how technology can put them in the driving seat".

Crowne added that, in the near future, technology will make lessons interactive "like never before" and allow teachers to access the best teaching resources from around the world.

In a statement, Crowne said: "We want to move technology from the margins to the mainstream in our schools and colleges and make the most of the opportunities and benefits it can provide."

Technology guru and face of Becta's next-generation learning campaign Johnny Ball said that, as technology has transformed so many aspects of people's lives, it makes sense for learners to also benefit. "Education needs to catch up," he said.

The online poll was run by Populus on Becta's behalf, surveying 2,058 parents.

Last week Becta urged schools not to implement Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system due to potential compatibility issues with earlier versions of Microsoft offerings.


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