Last updated: 16.08.12

Dame Alice Owen's School invests in online learning

A school in Hertfordshire is to roll out virtual learning environments to its pupils, enabling people to access course materials and resources anywhere in the world through distance learning online.

Dame Alice Owen's School in Potters Bar expects that this will enrich its 1,443 pupils' learning experiences, providing content, tools, specialists and other essential features to support the education of youngsters.

The e-learning platform is called Life and Steve Roberts, director of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at the facility, described how it provides personalised education to children.

It helped the school to improve its dealings with the "new generation of techno-savvy students" and increases flexibility in how children learn, he added.

Participants in the online learning scheme can access up-to-date information, as well as interact with it and share it with teachers and peers, the ICT specialist continued.

He revealed Life also contains an online learning space, applications such as forums, wikis and blogs and a number of learning cells, while the remote learning tool can be accessed through mobile phones, desktop and laptop computers, tablets and other "everyday technologies".

The school is using the e-learning development to integrate modern and familiar innovations with traditional education methods, Mr Roberts declared, arguing that it could help the institution in "bringing new interactions to the classroom and closing the digital divide between teachers and students".

Furthermore, as the content is delivered through the internet, the school no longer has to pay for large and expensive servers when it needs to store resources, he noted.

The expert asserted that parents will also realise benefits, as they can access homework, bulletins, discussion groups and learning resources online, helping them to support their children.

Dame Alice Owen's School has already been praised for the high quality of its education, with ten per cent of its students going on to study at Oxbridge, putting it in the top ten UK state schools in terms of the proportion of attendees who engage in higher education at either Oxford or Cambridge.