The growth of technology in the educational market has been phenomenal over the past five years. Although we have yet to analyse the results on a generation of schoolchildren it is encouraging that conventional boundaries are being pushed forward through the onset of educational apps for school kids.
Conventional education has been in the cross-fire for decades. Educational initiatives come and go and we still await the breakthrough that will successfully improve the quality and depth of learning. A huge amount of the success of schooling is down to the skill of the teacher but the number of teachers with the right DNA able to enthuse a whole class is desperately small. A fact of life perhaps and therefore anything that can inspire kids of mixed ability and social economic background to learn must be greeted with supreme enthusiasm.
The use of electronic devices to encourage educational games is growing. Kids spend a vast amount of time outside the school gates, but generally regard anything to do with school, such as homework with dread. But what if the homework is a fun app on their smart phone or tablet that develops a learning interrelationship with peers?
The world of pedagogy needs to be radicalised to seed the fun element of the “app.” Some already exist such as News-O-Matic, the daily news app just for kids, which has recently earned the USA Learning Magazine’s Teachers’ Choice Award for the Classroom. The big boys in social networks will be watching this space and a government initiative that encourages young IT talent to develop apps that slot in with the national curriculum would be an inspiring development. Regrettably we have a general election which would put all such ideas on hold until after May 2015.