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Becta says Web 2.0 motivates schoolkids

Go to library, open Facebook...

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Over half of teachers in UK schools believe that Web 2.0 apps should be used in lessons, even though the majority of them have never used such resources in the classroom.

Blighty’s education technology agency, Becta, spoke to 2,600 students aged 11 to 16 studying in 27 schools between August 2007 and May this year, many of whom apparently concluded that poking their classmates on the interweb was a cool learning tool.

Lots of down-wiv-da-kidz teachers working in UK schools agreed. Of the 100 or so teaching staff interviewed by Becta, 70 per cent said they snubbed the library surfed the internet for work purposes.

Meanwhile 45 per cent had no shame in admitting that they had used social networking sites such as Bebo or Facebook at some point in their personal time.

Teachers surveyed also ranked as enthusiastic bloggers, with more than a quarter (29 per cent) confessing they had published their inner ramblings online.

Unsurprisingly, schoolkids were found to have an even better Web 2.0 attention span. The majority (74 per cent) have social networking accounts, while 78 per cent have uploaded photos or video clips from phones.

Girls were more likely to want to gossip with friends on the likes of MySpace and co, whereas boys preferred using the web for interactive gaming, reckoned Becta.

"Some schools and individual teachers have been very innovative in developing their use of Web 2.0 to support learning," said Becta’s strategy and comms director Tony Richardson.

“However, clearly teachers need the support, time and space to develop skills and practices that will allow them to integrate Web 2.0 into lessons. The report shows the impact that Web 2.0 can have on the motivation and engagement of pupils. We need to ensure that these benefits are extended to all learners.”

So there you have it. While the globe’s financial institutions shudder under a very gloomy economic cloud, this nation’s kids could soon be learning all they need to equip themselves for the job market via the, ahem, wonderful world of Web 2.0. ®

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