Last updated: 11.06.13

Technology in schools 'will affect workplace demands'

Using digital tools for learning in schools is likely to impact pupils' expectations when they enter the world of work later in life.Tablet computers in particular are becoming increasingly popular in educational institutions, with Welsh education minister Leighton Andrews claiming they could change how children are taught in the country, BBC reports.When the technology was recently trialled at Sea View Primary in Swansea - following a similar project carried out at Casllwchwr Primary School - the average reading age among Year Six pupils jumped from nine to 13.As a result, Mr Andrews is looking for the Life programme - which was developed for tablets last September - to be implemented at other schools. He also said education authorities and directors and council leaders must now understand the importance of the Swansea trial, adding: "They need to see it first hand to understand the really transformational potential of what Casllwchwr has achieved."Simon Pridham, the executive head at Casllwchwr, said it has become clear to him that the technology is crucial in the classroom and it is now "totally unacceptable" for teachers to say they "don't do IT"."They might as well say 'I don't do literacy' - because it's so integral to our learning," he remarked.Teachers who were involved with the Life project in Swansea claimed they have never seen such a transformation in pupils' abilities, which proves how effective online learning can be from an early age.What's more, as the use of technology in schools and higher education facilities is becoming increasingly common, it may be time for employers that have not yet done so to ensure their workplaces are tailored towards the digital needs of the next generation.Through Virtual College's learning management system Enable, which is used by more than one million people, companies can regularly track the progress of their workers and get hold of training materials, while individual employees have their own log-in that allows them to access all the information they need.