A recent parental survey carried out by charitable consultancy the Learning Foundation shows that 1:1 e-learning in schools boosts academic skills. The consultancy works with schools to introduce computers for every child in a class, year group or entire school, whatever their income and provides access to training in e-learning skills for teachers.
More than 40% of parents of children who had previously had access to computers before the 1:1 programme felt that since its introduction their children’s results had improved. Interestingly a huge 70% of those parents whose children had no previous access to computers had seen an improvement in their children’s academic skills to achieve better marks. There are many other benefits which over 70% of these parents feel have been achieved: their children are more engaged in school (74%) and homework (72%); have an improved attitude to their studies (77%); are taking more responsibility for their learning (85%); have improved IT skills (96%) and, most importantly, receive better marks for school or homework than before (70%).
These results show that access to a well-run e-learning programme has major benefits for children, especially for supporting the academic improvement of those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is also clear that all children benefit – including the brightest, as well as those that struggle.
While technology has the power to make a difference, through working with over 1000 schools the experience of the Learning Foundation is that for successful implementation of 1:1 learning it requires both elements of the formula.
Firstly 1:1 technology for every child in a class, year group or school and secondly well-trained teachers who understand how to inspire each child with the help of interactive, creative and structured use of technology in their classes. Without these two elements, technology can instead become a distraction from learning and another block to disadvantaged children, leaving them further isolated from their peers.
Paul Finnis, Chief Executive of the Learning Foundation, said: “The UK is yet again having to face the fact that only half of children in Year 6 have met the new expected standards in their Key Stage 2 SAT tests.
“We believe that implementing successful 1:1 e-learning programmes, which we see working so well in our partner schools, could have a profound impact on that deficit. We implore the government to act now and instead of asking parents to fund these programmes, they provide the funds that would help to deliver the Learning Foundation’s vision – to give every child the opportunity to be inspired to learn through technology.”