Last updated: 27.10.11

Technology 'could help e-learners facing in-school cuts'

It is vital that online learning in education continues in order to provide an alternative platform for students who find traditional learning techniques a challenge, according to one expert.

Miles Berry, senior lecturer in ICT education at the University of Roehampton and vice chair of Naace, the ICT Association, suggested technology that houses methods of e-learning can provide essential support for people who struggle to gain sufficient knowledge from teachers in the physical classroom.

He mentioned that technology can provide a good backdrop for schooling whereby students can access the information in their own time and at their own pace until they have grasped the concept of the lesson.

"There's much that technology can do to provide opportunities for learning for those who've found traditional classrooms quite a challenge. From assistive technology and automated translation though interactive activities which allow learners to progress at their own pace, to online resources and communities for those who wish to pursue their own interests beyond the national curriculum," Mr Berry said.

As part of the educational association Naace, a community of educators, technologists and policymakers who share a vision for the role of technology in advancing education, Mr Berry sees the increasing need for students to gain access to education on varying platforms. The Kindle and iPad, along with other tablets and smartphones, have already released applications relevant to the field of learning.

Mr Berry's comments coincide with new figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which showed that education spending is set to shrink in the Spending Review, along with other recipients of government money.

The announcement suggested that total public spending on education in the UK will fall by over 13 per cent in real terms between 2010-11 and 2014-15.

According to the IFS, although school spending is relatively protected and schools with the most deprived intake of students are likely to see funding stay the same, many other schools will see significant cuts. The nature of these cuts may encourage more people to use e-learning as an extra form of education or to help with existing lesson plans.