Ann Coffey

NEWS
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Stockport Express Column July 2019

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I visited Tithe Barn Primary the other week where the children are learning to use Google Cloud as a resource.

Year 6 Digital Leaders gave me a very impressive presentation and I was particularly struck by some of their comments. They said

‘We have access to a green paperless homework system called Google Classroom and we can access all our work from home’

and

‘We are expected to think for ourselves and try and find the answers to our own questions’

I also liked that they worked in teams on projects and assessed each other’s work.

I also liked that they were learning about fake news. With so much information on the internet it is important that children can distinguish fact from fiction. Working as part of a team, learning to solve problems and being creative will be essential skills for the future jobs in the digital age. The world of work is changing. Robots and artificial intelligence will do many of the jobs that human labour does today in the same way that the machines of the industrial revolution replaced labour in the 19th century.

The digital revolution will create new jobs and giving our children the skills for that future world is critical. Google Cloud is a free resource and investing in training to use it is money well spent.

Every child in every school could have access. That’s equality of opportunity.

When I visit schools, what is interesting is that unlike when I was a child when all knowledge was received from teachers and parents now children can find out their own information.
Children bring in their own knowledge to school. Their mobile phones or iPads give them access to a world of facts.

That doesn’t mean that education is going to be all about self- learning, good teachers will be as necessary and as valued as ever.

But it might alter what is taught and how it is taught. It may make it easier to tailor learning to an individual child’s needs so that every child is encouraged and supported to develop their talents.