Schools in the UK should adopt the latest in educational technologies to equip their pupils with skills necessary to succeed in the digital world, according to new research.
Following a five-year study by the Technology-Enhanced Learning Research Programme (TEL), the subsequent report claims that unless specialist technologies designed to meet educational needs are adopted there is a risk the UK will miss out on the digital revolution.
Existing technologies designed for general purposes are not adequate for teaching young people all that they need to know, the report claims.
It comes as the government is planning major reforms to the ICT curriculum which include a greater focus on programming and the potential use of the new Raspberry Pi micro computer to teach these skills.
The 'System Upgrade: Realising the vision for UK Education' report - which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council alongside the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council - warns that current ICT is inadequate to meet the needs of the 21st century.
It says that people in ICT teaching jobs need to equip their students with the skills to become "confident digital collaborators and communicators" who have an in-depth understanding of the internet and the computing skills necessary to write programmes.
Researchers at TEL have further argued that investing in specific education technology should be considered as an investment in the future of the UK rather than a cost that has to be budgeted for. They warn that without this support, pupils in UK schools will continue to receive an analogue education inadequate for the digital age.
Professor Richard Noss, director of the TEL Programme at the Institute of Education, said: "Schools need to engage the Xbox generation. They need to be able to take advantage of the innovative teaching methods and flexible learning environments that technology enhanced learning offers.
"Only then will they be able to teach their pupils the skills to enable them to succeed in the globalised, digital workplace."
Posted by Tim Colman