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EdTech news roundup – February 2018

A look at some of the most important UK education and edtech stories from February 2018.

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Here are three of the latest UK education and edtech news stories over the last month…

EdTech: A digital collective

Traditional teaching models are giving way to more collaborative classrooms, and tech is the glue holding it all together, finds Charley Rogers.

The current focus on student wellbeing, and on ensuring that pupils receive the most suitable kind of education for them, means that the idea of a collaborative classroom is one that is becoming more and more relevant across the sector. The age-old model of a teacher stood in front of a classroom of 30 pupils, teaching at them and not standing for any chatting or moving around is slowly going out of style. Although classroom control and direction are still very much an important part of a teacher’s job, the advancements in technology have had an impact on pedagogical models, leading to more flexible and collaborative spaces, and to the teacher paradigm being redefined as curator, rather than receptacle of knowledge.

“An ideal collaborative classroom is one that enhances the learning experience for students and creates a space that they – and the teacher – feel comfortable with,” says Janice Prandstatter, a Teaching and Learning Consultant for Promethean UKI.

And technology plays a big role in this curation of space. Portable devices such as tablets allow for both expanded access to resources, as well as movement, not only within the classroom, but also outside, meaning that students can experience more hands-on learning and real-world applications of the theories that they are learning in class. Read the full article from Education Technology.

Guide for teachers: how to keep your students safe online

The education in the modern era is heavily based on the technologies. Teachers and students alike are using all kinds of gadgets and electronic databases. College software makes the educator-student connection much simpler and faster than it ever was. Furthermore, the studying communities bring the collaboration opportunities that are hard to overpraise. At the same time, the omnipresent internet brought us new categories of hazards. Cyberbullies, sexual predators, scammers, personality thieves are lurking in the dark web says Education Technology.

If the idea of keeping your students safe online while still letting them benefit from the enormous e-learning opportunities is appealing to you, read further. First, we’ll educate you more about the online dangers, then we’ll explain how you can prevent unfortunate encounters for your students.

Is social media causing childhood depression?

Rangan Chatterjee is a GP and says he has seen plenty of evidence of the link between mental ill-health in youngsters and their use of social media. BBC found that one 16 year-old boy was referred to him after he self-harmed and ended up in A&E.

“The first thought was to put him on anti-depressants but I chatted to him and it sounded like his use of social media was having a negative impact on his health.”

So Dr Chatterjee suggested a simple solution – the teenager should attempt to wean himself off social media, restricting himself to just an hour before he went to bed. Over the course of a few weeks, he should extend this to two hours at night and two in the morning.

“He reported a significant improvement in his wellbeing and, after six months, I had a letter from his mother saying he was happier at school and integrated into the local community.”

That and similar cases have led him to question the role social media plays in the lives of young people.

“Social media is having a negative impact on mental health,” he said. “I do think it is a big problem and that we need some rules. How do we educate society to use technology so it helps us rather than harms us?”

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