September 9, 2008

Teachers Blast Online Educational ‘Tools’

Teachers in the Westcountry are rejecting new Internet applications as distractions "with no real academic benefit", according to a survey.

More than 60 per cent of teachers questioned in Cornwall and Devon blasted Wikipedia, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube as unhelpful to pupils' learning.

A nationwide survey of 15,000 teachers, parents and students was carried out for telecoms firm ntl:Telewest Business, which wanted to examine how second-generation Internet applications were being used by young people and schools.

Paul Lawrence, head of business markets for the South West, said: "There appears to be a level of uneasiness and lack of understanding of the use of these applications. There were particularly worries about security."

But he said this reluctance had not stopped massive use of these technologies by children across Devon and Cornwall. Online encyclopedia Wikipedia is used by 45 per cent of students, while 63 per cent now use social networking sites on a regular basis.

The company aims to talk to teachers and parents about how to get involved themselves. It already provides networks for communities to access extra learning resources in Cambridge and Hertfordshire, and hopes to follow this in the Westcountry.

(c) 2008 Western Morning News, The Plymouth (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.