It’s the pedagogy, stupid!

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There was a nice piece on digital schools in the NYT the other day that extols the virtues of differentiated learning, or what might be described as the personalised curriculum.

The key message is that using laptops and tablet computers in class is less about technology and more about effective pedagogy. In the industrial age we had no alternative to ‘factory-style’ education, delivering programmes en masse, invariably catering to the lowest common denominator. Under this model, students with learning difficulties are left behind and able students aren’t stretched, leaving educators with the issue of student disengagement, and the attendant problems of unruly students, truancy, drop-outs, and so on.

In the digital age, with easy access to information and communication technologies (ICTs), there is no reason to continue with this outdated mode of delivery. Yes, it will take time to make the transition, as professional development of educators is imperative, and — as the NYT article makes clear — there will be pitfalls along the way, but this is not a reason for delay.