Everyday, we read and share via social media a range of stories from a variety of international sources about education technology. As the week comes to a close, we compile a few of our favourite articles as a basis to summarize the themes, trends and notable EdTech events from the past five days.
Each Friday we publish a variation of this recurrent post to showcase what we're reading, things that inspire us and other findings we have recently discovered about the EdTech industry.
3 Interesting Editorials
The Guardian: Distance Learning Taps Into Virtual Reality Technology
The Telegraph: Creativity 'Squeezed Out of Schools' Academics Warn
The National: Technology Puts Fun in Learning for Deaf Pupils in the United Arab Emirates
Toddlers: Ready for School?
This week, there was an interesting article on Washington DC based startup accelerator 1776 presenting the ideas of embracing digital preschools. The author of course raised key questions about the costs, potentially negative effects of too much screen time, and listed the various organizations that are encouraging this digital transition. The story concluded with a succinct summary of the how this choice may be overwhelming since there are currently 'over 3,000 apps directed at directed at education for pre-schoolers, it can be a difficult yet promising area for parents and educators to choose.'
On the other side of the debate, was a story from The Conversation, which argued against a recent report from the UK government about making children school ready. The report authors stated that children should be in school nurseries around the time of the 2nd birthdays ready to start learning. However, the article's author, a professor at Leeds Trinity University studying Children, Young People and Families, strongly rejected this idea of getting kids to begin learning so early on in their lives. She cites a litany of evidence arguing that children should be socializing through play-based interaction, instead of focusing on being in the classroom learning. As such, instead of embracing the UK government's current recommendation, they should instead support 'families and local communities to care for and educate young children within environments that are most appropriate to their biologically evolved needs.'
Although she didn't address the idea of a digital preschool as the 1776 story did, we would assume that she would also advocate that kids should spend less time being educated at the preschool age by technology and instead get out and play!
Learning Curve Databank Resource
Pearson recently updated their popular Learning Curve Databank, which details how each country compares with the education standards of the rest of the world. In collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit, the database is a great resource for research and understanding of education spend and socio-economic factors worldwide.