Tony Parkin explores the techno-fear behind media headlines with help from the Nominet Trust
Cover brain reportNewspaper headlines warn of threats like “Internet search engines cause poor memory, scientists claim” (Daily Telegraph July 15, 2011), but a timely publication from the Nominet Trust reviews what science really tells us about the impact of the internet on our brains, and those of our children.

The research that generates these kinds of articles usually paints pictures far less dramatic and negative than the headlines suggest. Indeed, the Telegraph story isn't negative and refers to shifts in memory behaviours rather than simply 'poor memory'. So what's the problem?

New report bears evidence that ICT improves learning and saves time for teachers

Don PasseyDon PasseyIndependent research conducted by Don Passsey, senior research fellow at Lancaster University, reveals that digital resources which are integrated into classroom work, and are used early with children can improve their achievements. His study of the use of Espresso in primary schools found that it saved teachers time and was associated with higher scores in key stage 2 SATS

“Resources often support certain areas of learning better than others," he said. "The width of learning aspects covered by a resource enables teachers and learners to engage more widely and in different ways with those resources.”

Encyclopaedia BritannicaEncyclopaedia Britannica iPad jigsawTwo in five parents who download educational 'apps' – in a survey group of 510 UK parents of 5 to 10-year-olds – reckon that they have helped improve attainment for their children. And the average smartphone-equipped family has downloaded four apps for learning.

The survey was carried out by PCP market researchers on behalf of Encyclopeadia Britannica which today (Thursday April, 21) makes all of its education apps, worth £4.99 each, available for free download from midnight  for the whole Easter weekend.

'Baby boomer' Tony Parkin invokes Queen in his exploration of Generation Y

Rob DavidsonRob DavidsonThough written by members of an earlier student generation, the ''I want it all, and I want it now" of Queen's "I want it all" anthem captures perfectly the attitude and aspirations of the Generation Y students at today's universities and colleges.

And according to research, education is failing to adjust its approaches to meet the different views and expectations of this demanding generation which is now entering the teaching profession – and of the next generation following in our schools.

Schools may have 'new freedoms' but new research indicates that they can't afford them
BESA reportJust at the moment when the BBC's School Report Survey demonstrates the importance of technology in young people's lives, along comes fresh research to show the major threat to learning with ICT posed by Coalition Government policies.

A clear majority of secondary schools, 65 per cent, and more than half of primaries, 56 per cent, said they are "unlikely or definitely unable to maintain ICT investments" in 2011-12, according to the  survey by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA). (The percentages are up from 48 and 42 respectively in June 2010.)