Childhood in the digital age
Childhood in the digital age

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Childhood in the digital age

Week 4: The future of childhood education


You have seen in previous weeks that childhood is a time of rapid change, not just physically, but also socially and cognitively, as children learn new skills, adapt existing ones and become more equipped to deal with the world around them.

In this video and in the concluding part of this course you focus on the future, and especially on the impact of changes to formal schooling and education in the next decade and beyond.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_21st_c_childhood_vid_1090.mp4
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Nathalia Gjersoe
Does education need re-thinking with the advances in digital tools?
Most classrooms today look much the same as when I was a child there are textbooks, desks, paper and the teacher at the front. How will digital technologies change what the classroom of the future looks like? Teachers often struggle to support the needs of children in classes that are growing in number. Innovators have demonstrated how technology can help address this problem by tailoring learning to individual children's interests and needs. In this educational 'revolution', technology can make learning more entertaining and engaging, allowing each child's progress to be closely monitored and offering regular rewards to maintain their attention. Traditional skills taught at school, such as reading and writing, also need to be refreshed to prepare children for working and thinking digitally.
The new UK national curriculum includes computer coding lessons for children as young as 5. It's hoped that this will prepare them to create their own digital content, rather than just consume it. iPads and digital apps are now offering powerful resources for teaching even basic numeracy and literacy skills. As we examine these new teaching and learning innovations, we also explore the role of teachers and adults. How will classroom teachers adapt to make room for digital technology in education? And what about my role as a parent - how will I support my son as technology advances beyond my own level of understanding?
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What can we learn from current ground-breaking examples to guide us when it comes to implementing technology in classrooms of the future? You will take a look at future possibilities in education which could have a huge impact, not only in the West but also in developing countries.


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