Technology alone ‘will not unlock learning opportunities,’ says Cambridge headteacher

Cambridge News, 27.01.16, technology alone "will not unlock learning opportunities," a Cambridge headteacher told delegates at a leading education technology conference this week. HMC member Tricia Kelleher, principale of leading independent Stephen Perse Foundation is quoted.

Key players from the education and technology arenas descended on the ExCel Centre in London to take part in the annual Bett Show, formerly known as the British Educational Training and Technology Show.

The annual trade show, founded in 1985, aims to showcase the use of information technoloy in education and when it celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014 some 35,044 visitors came from a total of 113 countries.

Among those who attended this year's conference was Tricia Kelleher, principal of the Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge.

Tricia was on hand to deliver the keynote speech, in which she challenged preconceptions of the use of technology in the classroom.

The Stephen Perse Foundation has previously hit the headlines for uploading 87 of its courses from disciplines including literature, sciences, maths and humanities on to iTunes U for teachers and pupils from other schools to use.

Tricia spoke at the Bett Show to advise schools across the world to stop making the mistake that investment in technology "per se" was the key to unlocking learning opportunities, without any real consideration for pedagogy.

The Foundation previously handed out iPads to its 11 to 18-year-old learners, believing they would provide teachers and students with a powerful tool for learning.

But at first there were some difficulties concerning the requisite confidence and expertise of teachers to adopt the technology in ways that would transform learning outcomes.

Practice made perfect, however, and the scheme was soon hailed a success.

Tricia concluded: "It is not just about maintaining learning during this digital revolution but about transforming learning using new powerful tools.

"It is about teachers using their skills as learners to understand the potential offered by a digital eco-system."

The Bett Show was also attended by education secretary Nicky Morgan, who spoke about putting computing into the school curriculum and championing the teaching of coding

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