It’s high time kids got appy at school

Balonne Beacon - - LIFE - Susie O’Brien

TEACH­ERS should stop fo­cus­ing on stan­dard­ised test­ing and be­come more tech-savvy, a lead­ing ed­u­ca­tional ex­pert says.

Flinders Univer­sity Pro­fes­sor of Early Child­hood Stud­ies Ni­cola Yel­land wants schools to move away from a fo­cus on ba­sic skill ac­qui­si­tion and em­brace new tech­nolo­gies.

She said teach­ers saw “gov­ern­ments and the pub­lic ob­sessed with na­tional tests re­sults which fo­cus on print lit­er­acy” while young chil­dren in their homes were flu­ent in both dig­i­tal and print tech­nolo­gies.

“This is prob­lem­atic as we strive to ed­u­cate chil­dren to be ac­tive cit­i­zens in the 21st cen­tury for a world of ‘work’ that is con­tin­u­ally evolv­ing and chang­ing,” Pro­fes­sor Yel­land said.

She stud­ied the school-based learn­ing of 459 chil­dren aged two to 12 over four years and found their ex­pe­ri­ences were en­hanced when both dig­i­tal me­dia and tra­di­tional meth­ods of teach­ing were used.

“Teach­ers should be en­cour­aged and sup­ported to in­cor­po­rate the use of tablets and a range of apps in learn­ing op­tions,” Pro­fes­sor Yel­land said.

PHOTO: NI­COLE CLEARY

APPY TO LEARN: Evia, Clau­dia and Tiger use their tablets to re­search school projects, as well as for read­ing and maths apps.

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