Naace

Press Release: The Future of Technology in our Schools: What Next?

Author: Chris Stott
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“ICT is a fundamental tool that every modern state needs”, said The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General in the Government ICT Strategy Mar 2011, but is it being used to maximum effect to raise standards in our schools and in view of the significant transformational effect it can have, is there enough policy direction attributed to it? This was the question posed today at The Future of Technology in our Schools: What Next? - a packed event chaired by Conservative Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall and co-hosted by Policy Exchange an independent think tank committed to an evidence-based approach to policy development and Naace, the voice of the UK education technology community whose members include teachers, school leaders, advisors and consultants working within and across all phases of UK education.

8 September 2011: For Immediate Release


“ICT is a fundamental tool that every modern state needs”, said The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General in the Government ICT Strategy Mar 2011, but is it being used to maximum effect to raise standards in our schools and in view of the significant transformational effect it can have, is there enough policy direction attributed to it? This was the question posed today at The Future of Technology in our Schools: What Next? - a packed event chaired by Conservative Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall and co-hosted by Policy Exchange an independent think tank committed to an evidence-based approach to policy development and Naace, the voice of the UK education technology community whose members include teachers, school leaders, advisors and consultants working within and across all phases of UK education.

Speakers included Vanessa Pittard, Department for Education; Ollie Bray, National Adviser, Technologies for Learning at Education Scotland & Senior Technologies Policy Adviser to Scottish Government; Fiona Aubrey-Smith, Head of Educational Development, UniServity; Danny Arati, Education Manager, Intel; Dr Peter Twining, Senior Lecturer, Open University / Director, Vital CPD; Miles Berry, Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University; Karine George, Headteacher, Westfields Junior School; Stephen Fahey, Learning Technologies Director, Pearson; Bernadette Brooks, General Manager, Naace, Ray Barker, of BESA, James Groves of Policy Exchange, Roger Broadie and former Minister the Rt Hon Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth. The event was launched with an opening address from Shadow Education Minister, Kevin Brennan MP.

Fiona Aubrey-Smith, Head of Educational Development, UniServity, highlighted how the role of the teacher in relation to learning, particularly online learning, has become ever more critical: “Neuroscientific research has shown that London cab drivers’ brains adapt to reflect the patterns of their frequent behaviour, such as navigating around routes and traffic. As these synaptic transfers adapt, the structure of the brain changes; and changes how the brain works on a more permanent basis. In other words, the more London cab drivers whip round different routes the more effective and quicker they become at on-demand-cognitive-navigation; they’re building up a particular kind of muscle memory, sub-consciously, as a direct response to their daily practices. In Education, without a change in our current practice, we’re not just going to become static in our standards and contributions to the economic workforce, we’re actually becoming less likely to teach successfully using old and traditional methods of teaching. We can perhaps already see this in the various statistics that are published (eg: PISA). It’s something to think about…”, she said.

As students from Westfields Junior School, Hampshire in their presentation, put it succinctly: “We are ‘Digital Natives’. We speak the language of computers, video games and the internet. We do things differently!

Commenting on this point, Headteacher Karine George, Westfields Junior School, said: “Our role is now shifting from leading and managing, to facilitating and supporting. This isn’t about us...it’s about THEM – the Learners.” Karine continued: “In all schools there will be children who find it difficult to learn, whether we label them as vulnerable because of their home context or special needs it is crucial that we understand how to bridge the gaps in their learning. Schools therefore need great teachers who push the boundaries in order to understand how each child learns best. We need to work out how best to give them the maximum opportunities for them to achieve and be a responsible member of our society”.

Dr Peter Twining, Senior Lecturer, Open University, explored the subject further: “Student engagement is strongly linked with student motivation, and there is strong research evidence that technology has a positive impact on student motivation and other related variables”, he said. There is also evidence that independent learning enhances motivation, at least in part because it provides learners with a sense of control and competency. Research evidence suggests that where ICT is used in classrooms by students there is more independent work and less whole class teaching. Greater use of ICT can make lessons more enjoyable, which is then reflected in increased attendance and punctuality rates”.

He continued: “One of the key elements that attendance, student engagement and independent learning all have in common is that they increase students’ effective learning time – and it seems logical to conclude that increased time spent learning will improve learning outcomes”. Peter went on to quote Lord Puttnam who talked about a teaching assistant and special needs teacher called Bev Evans at Pembroke Dock Community School in Wales. He said: “Bev Evans puts lesson plans up on the web using the TES Resources website. Over the past few years she has shared 276 teaching resources on the web with other teachers. As of last month, her work has been downloaded 1,345,330 times by 237,364 educators in 169 countries. Teachers save an average of 30 minutes per resource, the equivalent of 672,665 hours of teaching time, which is worth 431 teaching years. I cite that because it is a fantastic illustration of the way that technology has the ability to transform teaching and learning. These figures and indeed the whole concept would have been unimaginable a decade ago, so the role that technology now plays in education is fundamental.”

Fiona Aubrey-Smith, Head of Educational Development, UniServity argued that “Technology can be a driver in itself for educational reform through its ability to connect people, information, experiences and opportunities. Take the example of school learning platforms”, she said, “which according to OCR are now in 93 percent of Secondary and 69 percent of Primary Schools, and have been identified as the Highest School Improvement Priority for 2011/12 in 73 percent of Secondary / 66 percent of Primary Schools. In the 2009-10 academic year, in one study of 3,500 schools, there were over 4.5 million new learning resources with a rising 7.5+ million visits per week, and a consistent and significant positive correlation between higher usage and better Ofsted outcomes.

The important bit isn’t what you’ve got, whether that’s technology, people, access to a good school or even the resources. It’s not even about how you are using it. It’s about the connectedness of all the separate parts of learning, and using technology as a vehicle to make this long overdue aspiration into a reality. It’s about connecting data with supporting resources, connecting people who can help each other and connecting opportunities with relevance.”

Stephen Fahey, Learning Technologies Director, Pearson Education, commented: “There are many compelling and innovative examples from around the world and the UK where technology is being used to make a real difference to learning outcomes. What we must now focus on is tracking that impact and sharing our growing understanding of what works with teachers, learners and governments so everyone can benefit."

Concluding, Bernadette Brooks, General Manager, Naace, said: “At The Policy Exchange today we have witnessed some brilliant examples of how ICT has played a significant role in increasing student motivation and driving up standards. It’s our joint responsibility to ensure that the use of technology in our schools is world class, leading edge and a source of national pride and achievement. I genuinely believe this is possible, with purposeful collaboration, connecting of minds and ingenuity, hard work and determined spirit. Naace will do all it can to engage with partners to provide schools and professionals with the technological support they need to advance education in this regard. The rewards will be astounding!”

Ends

Media contact:

Richenda Wood, Livewire PR

Tel: 0208 339 7442 Mob 079411 25580 Email: richenda.wood@livewirepr.com

About Us

Policy Exchange is an independent think tank whose mission is to develop and promote new policy ideas which will foster a free society based on strong communities, personal freedom, limited government, national self-confidence and an enterprise culture. Policy Exchange is committed to an evidence-based approach to policy development. We work in partnership with academics and other experts and commission major studies involving thorough empirical research of alternative policy outcomes. We believe that the policy experience of other countries offers important lessons for government in the UK. We also believe that government has much to learn from business and the voluntary sector.

Naace is the ICT in Education association and is open to all educators, technologists and policy makers who share a vision for the role of technology in advancing education. Naace members include teachers, school leaders, advisors and consultants working within and across all phases of UK education.

As a professional association, Naace represents the voice of the UK education technology community in the schools sector at a national and international level, as well as supporting professionals across the sector through conferences, courses and the dissemination of resources, research and reflection. Naace plays a key role in both members’ professional development, through the challenge and support of a community of practice, and the development of the profession as a whole, through the sharing of innovation and expertise.


25 March 2011

Press Release: For Immediate Release

Certified Naace Professionals scheme enters a new phase

Naace’s flagship accreditation scheme, the Certified Naace Professionals (CNP), entered a new phase at the popular Naace Strategic Conference last week. On Wednesday 16 March the first cohort of professionals had their Awards conferred by Lord Jim Knight at a star studded awards ceremony. This event was the successful culmination of hard work and study that was initiated at last year’s Naace Conference when the scheme launched. The new group of professionals are the first of many to sign up for the Award which recognises an individual’s considerable experience grounded in evidence as to what is most effective in supporting ICT in education. Holders of the Award have submitted evidence showing that they meet a wide range of criteria related to all aspects of learning and teaching, professional development, working with people and the impact that ICT has on these areas. Their portfolios demonstrate that they have a wide experience in education but are also able to underpin this with reference to the latest research and literature. Full details of the scheme are available at http://cnp.naace.co.uk.

Also announced at the Conference last week is a brand new relationship between Naace and Bath Spa University. Professionals with the CNP Award will now be able to take their Award forward to Bath Spa where it will count for one third of a Master’s Degree. Holders of the Award will be able to register with the University from September 2011 and pursue the Professional Master’s Programme in the School of Education. This exciting new venture will open the pathway for professionals working in the field of ICT in Education to reflect on their experience in an academically challenging programme designed to support both their experience and interests. The CNP Award is considered sufficiently academically rigorous to attract 60 CATs points as accredited prior learning with the University. Members can then add to this with further study and a dissertation to complete their Master’s Degree.

Rachel Ager, Chair of the Naace Board of Management, commented: “The Certified Naace Professionals scheme has been several years in the making and it fills a clear space in the education landscape. We have needed a scheme that recognises what for many Naace members is a lifetime of work with schools and learners using technology to promote and support their learning. Not only does the Award recognise their skill and expertise but it now opens a route to obtaining a Master’s Degree through further study related to their work.”

Notes for Editors

1. Naace is the professional association for those concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of information and communications technology (ICT). http://www.naace.co.uk

2. For further information please contact Chris Stott, Quality Manager at chris.stott@naace.co.uk or by telephone on 0115 945 7243.

3. The Certified Naace Professionals scheme is one of a series of accreditation schemes that Naace offers the ICT in Education community which include the ICT Mark, NaaceMark for Service Providers, ITEM, ICTCPD4free and the Naace ICT CPD award. Further details of these schemes is available at http://www.naace.co.uk/accreditation.

4. Further information about the Professional Master’s Programme at Bath Spa University can be viewed at http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/schools/education/cpd/pmp-programme.asp

Press Release: The Future of Technology in our Schools: What Next?
“ICT is a fundamental tool that every modern state needs”, said The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General in the Government ICT Strategy Mar 2011, but is it being used to maximum effect to raise standards in our schools and in view of the significant transformational effect it can have, is there enough policy direction attributed to it? This was the question posed today at The Future of Technology in our Schools: What Next? - a packed event chaired by Conservative Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall and co-hosted by Policy Exchange an independent think tank committed to an evidence-based approach to policy development and Naace, the voice of the UK education technology community whose members include teachers, school leaders, advisors and consultants working within and across all phases of UK education.
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