Wales Should 'Trail Blaze' Technology Teaching in Schools; 'YEAR EIGHT IS TOO LATE' IN THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION
Byline: GARETH EVANS Education Correspondent firstname.lastname@example.org
TEACHERS were yesterday urged to move with the times and embrace technology as a digital revolution sweeps across Welsh classrooms.
Emma Mulqueeny, one of Britain's leading digital communication developers, warned that "Year Eight is too late" and age should be no barrier to learning online.
She said Wales was in a "perfect position to be agile" and by responding to the needs of 21st century industry, it could "very quickly trail blaze" advances in technology around the world.
Addressing a major conference in Newport, Ms Mulqueeny said children should be given the freedom to explore ICT (information and communications technology) at home before sharing their discoveries with teachers.
Ms Mulqueeny, chief executive of Rewired State, the UK's largest independent developer network, said: "We risk failing generations by neglecting to teach basic skills to keep up with technology.
"Rather than simply consuming code-driven technology, there's no reason why our children can't go on to be its future producers."
Simon Pridham, executive headteacher of Casllwchwr Primary School, spoke of the pioneering work going on with partners in and around Swansea.
He said teachers "have to adapt to change" and ensuring pedagogy, the curriculum and technology go hand in hand together would be key to success.
Casllwchwr was the first school in Wales to give every Key Stage 2 pupil their own iPad to use for the duration of their studies and results at the school have risen significantly as a result. Every pupil is given a personal e-mail address and while access to external parties is prohibited, they are encouraged to interact with each other and their teachers.
Pupils use various apps to develop their work and, by utilising pictures and sounds in a way they couldn't previously, teachers can find new ways of engaging learners.
Mr Pridham said: "What we find in schools is when you do this [embrace technology], pupils will know more than their teachers. That's just the way it is. Faced with that, you've got two choices: you either carry on doing what you're doing and forget that or you sit down with them and go on their educational journey with them. …