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Teachers take timid approach to classroom tech

The kids love it, though

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Teachers are generally reluctant to go high tech in the classroom, fearing that electronic white-boards and laptops could interfere with the teaching process.

A four-year study of 1,500 UK teachers, conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol found that 30 per cent shun the shiny gizmos altogether, despite the government pouring a billion quid or so into IT in schools. And 60 per cent thought technology would interfere with genuine learning, especially in creative subjects.

The report, InterActive Education: Teaching and Learning in the Information Age, describes the use of IT in UK schools as "sporadic [and] disappointing".

The researchers concluded that many teachers lack confidence in using technology to support their subject teaching, preferring instead to use computers for routine admin tasks.

But after spending time working with the researchers, many teachers had a change of heart. Professor Rosamund Sutherland, who led the research, told the Education Guardian: "After working with researchers they generally had a more positive view of technology and said that it enhanced their role as a teacher and had a beneficial impact on the learning environment."

The study also noted that game playing by pupils led them to take computer simulations less seriously; but left to their own devices, students made good use of IT to investigate ideas and topics. ®

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