How is technology transforming the role of teachers?

How is technology transforming the role of teachers?

Guardian Teacher Network

Moving beyond the well-worn debate about the potential of technology in the classroom, this week the Guardian Teacher Network is running a special series to explore how technology is transforming the role of a teacher.

For starters, head of ICT Mike Britland will examine how technology allows students to become more independent in the classroom and whether this is a positive for the teaching profession. Mike’s brother, Matt Britland, will look at the emerging trend of social learning in his piece, What is the future of technology in education? Britland says schools need to forget devices, the future is all about the cloud.

“iPads and other mobile technology are the ‘now’. Although they will play a part in the future, four years ago the iPad didn’t even exist,” he says.”The future is about access, anywhere learning and collaboration, both locally and globally. Teaching and learning is going to be social.”

We will also have highlights from a recent debate hosted by the British Council: Is teaching obsolete? Here, Prof Sugata Mitra, professor of education technology at Newcastle University, shared his own ideas for exam reform: putting an internet-connected tablet into an exam hall. Imagine, he says, no more need for memorisation. “If you do that, the entire system will change,” he writes. “Teachers are intelligent people; they will teach differently. They will insist that you don’t memorise, you can look it up on Google.”

Wonder how that would go down with Michael Gove …

Guardian Higher Education Network

Each week, we invite a PhD or post-doctoral researcher to wax academic on topics ranging from staying sane and healthy at thesis time to the challenges of saying “no” to unpaid work.

This Friday’s blogger tackles the big question: when times are tough and funding tougher, should she stay or should she go? Is a career in research all it’s cracked up to be? Read more, then tune into our live web chat from 12-2pm on Friday to share your own experiences, advice and encouragement with wannabe academics.

Also this week: forget Boris bikes. Students in the north-east of England have their own set of (two) wheels. Lighter, cheaper and greener than their London counterparts, Scratch bikes were developed at Newcastle University and made their debut at neighbouring Sunderland University this summer. We speak to the brains behind the spokes about their plans to conquer campuses nationwide.

Guardian Students … and their parents

Universities are telling us that parents are more involved than ever before in helping their children choose a path in life. This is why we’ve just launched a special section designed to help the parents of students aged 16 and over.

As your child decides whether to go to college, university or train as they work, we’re here to provide advice. We’ll cover topics from the psychological to the financial, the philosophical to the practical. To kick things off, we’ll be guiding you through the university league tables and government websites that can help you pick a university. What does NSS mean? And how reliable are employability stats? We talk to careers advisers and academics to find out.

Also online this week

• We look at the financial difficulties facing student nurses.

• A student from Sussex University blogs about the challenges facing his institution after it tumbled down the Guardian University Guide league table.

• Picture galleries showcasing graduate art work by students across the country.

• Considering postgraduate study? Join our panel of lecturers and students to discuss the pros and cons of doing a master’s, in a live chat today, 1-3pm.

Wendy Berliner


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