Last updated: 09.07.13

Experts discuss future of technology in education

Technology has had a major impact upon education in recent years and an increasing number of people worldwide are now able to access learning from handheld devices.

This means pupils and teachers can log on to view resources on the move, giving them greater flexibility and control over their studies and assessments.

James Morgan from Science Omega reports that at this year's Innovative Learning event - which took place at the start of last week (July 2nd) - experts met to discuss the future of education and how academic institutions can teach more effectively.

He wrote that Shaaron Ainsworth, a professor at the University of Nottingham and co-author of Nesta's 2012 Decording Learning report, focused on embracing the benefits of digital education in her presentation.

She said that while most leaders in the education sector want to change the face of teaching, they should stop collecting evidence about how to make existing pedagogy work with current technology and support the practices that are already in place.

"We mustn't make technology accidentally wag the dog and we must stop using it to sugar-coat unpalatable activities," the expert warned.

The general consensus from speakers at the event was that if emerging technology is not used appropriately to facilitate learning, it is redundant.

Indeed, Ranjay Naik from The Open University - who gave the final speech of the day - said educators who achieve the right balance between learning and technology will not focus on the analytics or the devices themselves.

He claimed that having the flashiest gadgets is not important, rather it is the people themselves and what they do with technology that makes a difference. "[The successful institutions will be those that focus] on technology in relation to how it enables students to live their lives," Mr Naik was quoted as saying.

Other speakers at Innovative Learning included Gill White from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, while attendees were also able to take part in masterclasses and question and answer sessions.