According to teachers in England, perhaps not. Researcher Kristen Weatherby teases out the ICT angle
England OECD teacherIt's official – teachers in England and Scotland work very hard (see BBC's "Teachers work 'longer classroom hours'"). Which makes it an ideal time to revisit the OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS 2013) that asked teachers worldwide about their experiences with continuing professional development (CPD) and where they might require further support.

If we compare the areas in which teachers in England and Japan expressed high levels of need for CPD, a puzzle emerges.

School websites are not giving value for parents, says new report

Most schools in England are merely scratching the surface with their websites. A survey of schools in every local authority has found that most are not fit for purpose when it comes to providing parents with the information they need.

But there is good news. The report, "Structure and function of school websites: The key to driving parental engagement in the digital age" (summary here), was created to help schools, and each of its conclusions is supported by constructive suggestions to help address their challenges.

It's time for FE to show leadership for the innovative use of technology for learning
Culture, coaching and Collaboration reportFurther education (FE) should be bolder in its adoption of digital technologies for learning and teaching according to a report from the City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development, launched in London last week at the first meeting of the Think Out Loud Club,  a new FE learning technology community established in collaboration with the 157 Group, Toshiba, and the Ufi Trust.

The new report, "Culture, Coaching and Collaboration: How to unlock the potential of digital technology in vocational teaching and learning", by Charlynne Pullen and Olivia Varley-Winter, identifies the advantages for further education (FE) in making wise investments in digital technologies, and hails the work of pioneering FE colleges like Bridgend College, in Wales, and Reading College.

Digging behind the shiny claims for online learning reveals some worrying trends
Logo NEPCOnline schools are proliferating, but a new US report from the National Education Policy Center in Colorado warns that they "continue to have serious problems with respect to education quality, diversity, accountability, and funding".

“Full-time K-12 online learning is growing exponentially, many policymakers praise it, and taxpayer money supports it,” says the report’s editor, Professor Alex Molnar of the University of Colorado Boulder, “And yet there has been little high-quality research to support the claims that justify its rapid expansion.”

Research indicates that it's time to shed some negative assumptions about mobile phones. Jeremy Sutcliffe reports 
The Smart GenerationThe upsurge in smartphone ownership is helping to feed teenagers’ passion for learning, according to a new study by a leading digital learning company.

More than nine out of ten 14-to-18 year-olds surveyed by video-conference specialists MB Learning said that digital technology enabled them to find things out for themselves (97 per cent) and to learn independently (95 per cent) while seven out of ten (70 per cent) said it made learning more exciting.