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Does digital dependence inevitably lead to digital education?

Education

Does digital dependence inevitably lead to digital education?

It’s only one statistic, but anyone who has spent any time with a student or pupil between, say 11 and 21, will recognise the number as, if anything, rather low – but this infographic from Schools.com, reckons that school pupils check their digital devices once every ten minutes or so.

It’s way more than that in our house.

The extrapolation from that is that – if these kids are so dependent on digital devices, then don’t fight it, exploit it. The theory goes, that if these kids can’t put down their mobiles and iPads, then make them consume their textbooks on those same devices, make them write their essays on laptops or tablets (82% already do). Make them do their research via Google (81% do), and allow them to take note on their laptops too (70% do).

So, the story goes, make their education entirely digital. There’s sense in that – let them use the tools that they are familiar with, and the formats they are likely to use in the future. But does it assume too much about the quality of the content? Have the curricula been fully digitised and with sufficient quality and care? And what happens at exam time? All that digital preparation can end in a very analogue testing process. Would that badly hit the success rates, and harm possible future success? Have your say below…

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Jimmy Leach is a digital consultant, working with governments, organisations and people. He tweets at @JimmyTLeach

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