Technology transforms Education

Marcus du Sautoy of Oxford University chaired the panel that included the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams alongside Martin Weller and Eileen Scanlon of the Open University.

Williams explained technology’s importance for the education sector in Wales. She said, “Alongside literacy and numeracy, digital competence will become a cross-cutting theme that we will be expecting educators to incorporate into all areas of learning.”

In an era of misinformation, Williams emphasised the need for children to be digitally savvy, particularly with the information that they encounter online.

She said, “Some people think that’s just about teaching kids how to use a computer… but it’s also being digitally competent in understanding and being able to interrogate the information that you might find online. If ever we needed a population to be skilled in that area, we need it now.”

Technology has become more prevalent in all areas of life, and Martin Weller pinpointed three technological trends in education.

  1. Data – how it is used to monitor student behaviours
  2. Artificial intelligence – the use of sophisticated algorithms
  3. Openness – open access and online educational resources

While technology is patently significant, Eileen Scanlon spoke of her five key findings during her time as a teacher at the Open University.

  1. Openness
  2. Teaching as a form of learning
  3. Learning and teaching as social activities
  4. No strong distinction between informal and formal learning
  5. Technology can join together our experiences

Pictured L-R: Marcus du Sautoy, Kirsty Williams, Martin Weller and Eileen Scanlon 

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Photo by Matthew Harry