• Next Generation Learning

Next Generation Learning is a Government campaign initiated by BECTA to ensure the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning and education.   

'Having access to mobile technologies when and where they are needed, rather than being tied to fixed technology at fixed locations and fixed times, makes technology simply another tool to be used. In other words, your child can make a choice about the right tool to be used at a time and place that suits them. The range of mobile technologies available is growing rapidly. So don’t be surprised to learn your kids could be using devices as diverse as laptops and notebooks, smartphones, PDAs, media players, digital cameras and even e-books in the years to come.' Next Generation Learning.'

Some schools are buying their pupils mobile phones so that they can send and read texts and talk to teachers (BECTA and LSIS, 2009).  Headteachers are finding 'mobile phones are a very useful learning tool' (Using ICT to Improve Schools).  Others are using them throughout lessons, for accessing the school learning platform remotely and using the internet (How mobile phones help learning in secondary schools).  BECTA describes 'These champions of change have shown that, with good planning and anticipating class management and technical issues, using mobile phones can be a very productive way to augment access to tools for computing, communication and photography.'

All schools are being encouraged to make a commitment to provide Next Generation Learning for all of their learners.  However, '' would like to emphasise that schools can choose not to include wireless devices in their progression through Next Generation Learning.

On reducing the carbon footprint of schools: 'This work will require ... smart buildings with heating, lighting and water systems controlled via ICT', BECTA, 2008.  '' would like smart buildings to be achieved via wired connections.

  • ICT Mark Accreditation

'The ICT Mark is a national accreditation scheme which recognises schools for their achievements in reaching a standard of maturity in their use of technology.'  It is an award given to schools that have reached the nationally agreed standard in eight elements of the Next Generation Learning framework.

  • ICT Excellence awards for schools

Some schools that have won ICT excellence awards have been congratulated for their use of the following (20072008):

'Classroom work has moved beyond whiteboards, with superb use being made of wireless projectors and tablet computers...';  'students take home a fully charged laptop with a 3G card for broadband connectivity...';  'the use of personal digital assistants is well integrated into teaching and learning, alongside laptops...';  'Innovation is encouraged, including the use of mobile devices that bring learning directly into the pupils' lives...';  'the wireless network allows the pupils to work independently anywhere on the schools site...';  'laptop work that parents can do with their toddlers...'.

  • Home Access programme

The Home Access Programme is working to ensure that those learners without home access to computers are given the encouragement and funding they may need.  BECTA specify that:

'All portable devices SHALL have a wireless network interface conforming to IEEE802.11g standards and support WPP/WPA2/802.11i compliance.  Home access suppliers are required to provide the following: mobile broadband solutions: Approved suppliers SHALL provide 3G connectivity within 10 working days of order.'

  • Hand Held Technology Awards

BECTA support the hand held learning conferences and technology awards.  The award finalists give some indication of the range of emerging hand held technologies that are being used in education.

  • Research projects

BECTA fund research projects to support the harnessing technology strategy.

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