Futurelab article on Child Education PLUS

There’s a new article by Futurelab on the Child Education PLUS website, discussing the use of computer games in the classroom. (This is unashamed self-promotion, as I’ve just started my new role at Scholastic as editor of Child Education PLUS.)

Futurelab podcast – technology in primary education

I’m a little late with this one, but the current Futurelab podcast is really worth a listen. Sue Cranmer speaks to John Potter of the London Knowledge Lab, University of London, about technology in primary classrooms. John speaks compellingly about the need to recognise learning needs and then to produce appropriate technology, rather than simply trying to convince teachers that they have a need for any available new technology. He argues for low-tech usage of high-tech products, such as an interactive whiteboard used as a table surface allowing simple manipulation of objects for Nursery and Early Years pupils.

Click here to download the podcast.

Transforming Schools for the Future

Transforming Schools for the Future is a collection of papers published by Futurelab, forming a commentary of the UK government’s Building Schools for the Future and Primary Capital Programme (investment programmes in secondary and primary school buildings).

In his foreword, Lord David Puttnam argues for a forward-thinking approach to designing not just school buildings but also new systems:

“It is no use building old schools and systems, only made from new materials. It will be a missed opportunity if we only use these programmes to address current needs and immediate solutions for our institutions and the educational stock.”

A key reference is Baroness Susan Greenfield’s quote from her book Tomorrow’s People:

“As education becomes an ongoing experience, and therefore less differentiated from everyday life, and as that experience is increasingly screen derived, perhaps not just the notion of ‘learning’ but even the traditional concepts of ‘school’ and ‘university’ will start to become meaningless.”

Professor Rosemary Luckin of London Knowledge Lab suggests that the BSF design process needs to:

“- identify the school as just one of the resources that learners will interact with, and to investigate how the school can be a key resource in fostering relationships with other resources in a learners’ ecology, such as people and other learning locations
– explore how the school can be designed in a manner that enables it to continue to evolve
– encourage people to see the school as a dynamic entity ensuring that there are mechanisms in place through which stakeholders can participate in decisions about its continuing future development
– identify the roles that need to be fulfilled by people and technologies within and beyond the school building in order to support the school as a key resource in a learners’ evolving ecology of learning resources.”

You can download a pdf copy of the full report here.