Primary education: listening and observing
Primary education: listening and observing

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Primary education: listening and observing

2 Technology affects how children learn

Advances in technology and the internet revolution are driving a pace of change that would have been unimaginable 30 years ago. Schools are trying to balance the use of technology to develop children’s learning, and also ensure that children are prepared to engage safely and effectively with technology.

Activity 3 The digital age and children’s learning

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Read this extract from the Cambridge Primary Review’s report, ‘The Digital Age and its Implications for Learning and Teaching in the Primary School’ (Burnett, 2016). The report draws on a range of research related to children’s lives in the digital age in school and beyond school.

For many children digital devices and the possibilities they enable are threaded through everyday life from the earliest days, and their early experiences and understandings are patterned by technology use... much of ‘children’s out-of-school learning is electronic and beyond the reach of either parents or teachers’ (Alexander, 2010: 269). In education, therefore, there is a need to explore the significance of the digital age not just in terms of preparing children for an uncertain future, but in ensuring they are confident, safe and discerning users of digital technologies now…

…understanding children’s lives in a digital age is a complex task, and considering the implications for primary education is fraught with tensions. On one hand there are calls to recognise the sophistication of children’s everyday uses of digital media and for much greater integration of technology in education to equip children effectively for their current and future lives. On the other hand there are anxieties about the implications of extensive screen-time and about what or whom children may encounter in digital environments that are hard to police and difficult to confine.

(Burnett, 2016, p. 3)
PDP_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371