Sunday, 18 January 2009

18. New technology

I spent three days this past week at BETT in London, billed as "the world’s largest educational technology event." However, I am not sure I shall return next year. Ten years ago you could visit BETT and there would be some wonderful new technology. But I came away feeling that I had learned nothing. What was there to report?

The £99 computer, great for kids. That about it.

But everything else was similar to last year. Maybe smaller, faster, cheaper. But what difference does it really make? There were the computers that popped up from the desks, the interactive white boards, and these devices that allow you to press the button instead of raising your hand in class. But I cannot recall seeing anything that said "Many dyslexia individuals will benefit greatly from this." Yes, many items on this blog are about facilitating rather than teaching content. But that is its role. My point is that BETT had so little that said "Now teaching will improve. " There was no "How much does all this extra spending on technology add to the learning?" And there was no research that said "Here is the evidence to suggest life for dyslexics will improve with all this technology."