compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
Michael Grove remarked to Kenneth Baker M.P. in 1982 - during
the period of establishing the BBC Computer Literacy Project
THAT the archives of the BBC were worth more to the British nation than all the
country's coal deposits. He further remarked that in order to "mine" this wealth,
an appropriate industrial infrastructure and facilities would have to be established -
before the information could be put into IT (Information Technology) and subsequently
distributed in a form which would be useful to ALL potential users.
UNFORTUNATELY the political powers in charge at the time, having already decided
to let the Grammar School System wither on the vine, so to speak, ONLY invested our
tax-payers money in the capital investment of supplying schools with the BBC Computer
hardware and NOT the training of the teachers who were to make use of that hardware
for the purpose of assisting their pupils with their Literacy.
Allister Heath went on to say in his Daily Telegraph article -
Few industries have been left unscathed by the digital revolution.
But there is one glaring exception waiting to be disrupted by technology for the benefit
of its long-suffering consumers, and that is education. It has changed very little since
the 19th century – or indeed since the days when Socrates imparted knowledge to his
students in ancient Greece.
Teachers still stand up in front of pupils and read out from their own lesson plans; kids
still turn up to classrooms, sit behind desks and listen, taking notes; assessments remain
based on reports filed by teachers; exams are at set times, once a year. There is no
systematic use of the internet, software or gaming technology to aid learning, no proper
data analysis to monitor pupils’ progress and to understand better how to convey
understanding, no automation, no economies of scale, no productivity gains, and
This IS a scandal. Antiquated educational practices are holding back millions of young
people and the economy as a whole; a lack of competition and the fact that the sector
is dominated by producer interests and a desperately conservative public sector
is to blame.
Sure, schools now buy laptops for pupils and teachers use whiteboards or even electronic
displays rather than blackboards. Some even communicate with parents by email (yes,
really). But compared with the media, consumer electronics, retail, financial services,
breakthroughs, teaching remains largely unmediated by technology, strikingly
unscientific, a cottage industry in an increasingly sophisticated world.
This is true even of most private schools.
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