Why are we doing this?
Digital technology has rapidly transformed many of our industries and services – but education hasn’t kept up with this change. The way technology is taught and used in schools isn’t making the most of the latest developments to improve learning, nor is it equipping young people with the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy.
We believe that digital technology has the potential to transform learning – as it has transformed many other aspects of our lives – by offering more opportunities to learn (at home, at play or in the community); enhancing the learning experience (for example, by making it more personalised); and making learning more suited to the needs of a globalised, tech-driven world (for example, by teaching young people key skills such as collaborative problem-solving).
What are we doing?
Drawing on the findings of Nesta’s Decoding Learning report, which looked at the impact of digital technology in the classroom, we want to find out how digital tools can be used more effectively to enhance learning at scale.
While significant funds have been invested in digital technology across UK schools in recent years, evidence of their impact remains limited. By supporting the design, development and evaluation of digital tech for education, we will be exploring and sharing new and better ways of improving learning for pupils across the UK.
To encourage discussion around this challenge, we have hosted a range of events including:
• A fun, informal Failure Fest, where we invited presenters and participants to share five minute stories about failure in education and to reflect on what we can learn from it.
• A discussion with leading educational and human development scholar Professor Howard Gardner, who offered ideas about how education in secondary schools might be reframed following a study on the ways in which young people in America differ from those of earlier decades, paying particular attention to the digital landscape.
• A talk from education reform expert and Chief Advisor at Pearson Sir Michael Barber about the need to unlock systemic innovation across worldwide education systems if we are to address 21st century challenges.
Watch this space for details on how we plan to build on our findings, to support new and better ways of learning using digital technology.
You can find out more about the research underpinning our Decoding Learning programme in the reports below:
• BBC Micro
• Next Gen
• Plan I