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With hundreds of millions of pounds spent on digital technology for education every year – from interactive whiteboards to the rise of one–to–one tablet computers – every new technology seems to offer unlimited promise to learning. Many sectors have benefitted immensely from harnessing innovative uses of technology. Cloud computing, mobile communications and Internet applications have changed the way manufacturing, finance, business services, the media and retailers operate. But key questions remain in education: has the range of technologies helped improve learners’ experiences and the standards they achieve? Or is this investment just languishing as kit in the cupboard? And what more can decision makers, schools, teachers, parents and the technology industry do to ensure the full potential of innovative technology is exploited?
There is no doubt that digital technologies have had a profound impact upon the management of learning. Institutions can now recruit, register, monitor, and report on students with a new economy, efficiency, and (sometimes) creativity. Yet, evidence of digital technologies producing real transformation in learning and teaching remains elusive.
This report sets out where proof, promise and potential lie for technology in education. It then identifies the contextual factors and actions needed to ensure current and future opportunities for school children take full advantage of technology for learning.