Nicky Morgan

Besa director Patrick Hayes isn't convinced by the government's new-found discovery of edtech 

One of the most surprising aspects of the Department for Education (DfE) White Paper "Educational Excellence Everywhere" was its bold announcement that it had decided to move into educational technology.

Evidently tackling the teacher shortage and transforming every school into an academy on a shoestring budget wasn’t seen to be a challenge enough; the DFE seems to think it has the bandwidth and expertise to get on a par with some of the finest companies from Silicon Valley and, of course, London’s own Silicon Roundabout.

Chelsea camp

Top-line sport combined with high-tech skills makes for a powerful learning mix, as Hugh John discovered at Stamford Bridge  

The Chelsea Foundation Digital Camp couldn't have wished for a better recommendation. "This has been the best time of my high school life," said student Jasmine, aged 13.

Organised by teacher Renaldo Lawrence and Chelsea Foundation head of education Matt Mead, it was a pilot project to support and inspire students in their career choices with a two-day taste of Premier League football coaching combined with lessons to develop their digital creativity skills.

Using Accelerated Reader

Education Endowment Foundation funds NFER to evaluate 'Accelerated Reader' in 200 English schools

Early research by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)  indicated that Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader, with its integrated use of online and software, raised the reading age of pupils by three months (low-income pupils by five months).

Now the EEF has invested £885,000 to further test the programme in 200 English primary schools with 18,000 Year 4 and 5 pupils. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) will manage the project to see whether the programme is effective at scale. It’s part of a raft of six new EFF research projects worth almost £4 million.

unesco mobile


Education Fast Forward celebrates Unesco's Mobile Learning Week with fresh debate

Mobile technology has massive potential for education, which is why Unesco's Mobile Learning Week (Monday March 7 to 11) is an annual ICT highlight. But it's still early days -- what vision and pedagogies are required for educators and learners to maximise that potential?

Unesco partner EFF17 helps kick off the week's events in Paris on Monday (6pm GMT) with a lively exploration of these issues in "Innovation and Quality: Two sides of the same coin?" Mobile learning pioneers will debate live with other global experts over streaming video while joined by other participants on social media. 

Crowd2map

Smartphone to spare? A smart mapping project in Tanzania could put it to good use

A London educator is leading an innovative crowd-sourced mapping project using smartphones to get rural communities in Tanzania on the map.

Janet Chapman who, as a teacher and adviser, has worked on innovative projects across east and north London, has set up Crowd2map, on of seven projects selected in the Open Seventeen challenge, which rallies the public to use open data as a means of achieving the UN's new 17 Sustainable Development Goals.