Education Technology Action group (#etag)
Earlier this year Michael Gove, Matthew Hancock and David Willetts set up the Education Technology Action Group (ETAG) to draw evidence from the education sector to influence future policy.
Chaired by Prof. Stephen Heppell and including representatives from many organisations involved in education, the Nesta offices were the venue for their first meeting and our Digital Education team have been contributing ideas and challenges to the discussion.
The group has sought views from across the sector, conducting their business in an open way on the web and including input from many channels from face to face meetings to email submissions and even discussion on Twitter under the #etag hashtag. It was clear during the meeting they convened today at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that significant efforts have gone into collating and sythesising all the ideas and input they have received.
Today we spent a productive and interesting session exploring the three main themes coming out of the consultation; how developing infrastructure could support learning, how new technologies are facilitating learning becoming more individual and personalised, and how technology could play a part in how we understand and accredit learning.
In such a diverse and fast moving field it is a challenge to come to any kind of consensus on what is most important, let alone crystalise this into firm policy asks. Never the less, the meeting did move from the broad and discursive contributions received into some clearer ideas of what policies could better support development in this field, and the opportunities for young people to benefit from technology enhanced learnining.
One clear focus was that recommendations should be driven by learning and teaching and not by the technology itself, a clear finding of our 'Decoding Learning' report. There is little appetite to see the learning driven by technology for its own sake, and all of the discussions were framed by a focus on delivering educaitonal outcomes in a way that best suited learners and teachers.
The chairs of the group have now taken all of the synthesised ideas to collate into a report for the ministers in July, which aims to bring specific policy asks from this crowd sourced process.
The report will be made public after that time, and it is clear that it will contain much that resonates with the work we are doing at Nesta to explore the potential and the evidence for technology enhanced learning and teaching.