Web 2.0 wanted by kids but not teachers

Parents that understand technology see the value of Web 2.0 in the classroom, but teachers are less certain according to research.

Parents that understand technology see the value of Web 2.0 in the classroom, but teachers are less certain according to research.

Technologies such as Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and Wikipedia have no academic benefit and merely act as a distraction, according to half of 1,500 teachers interviewed by LM Research for research commissioned by ntl:Telewest Business. The other half felt these applications add value to education.

The debate echoes a similar scenario in the private sector as businesses look to harness Web 2.0.

Security and a lack of understanding are the major obstacles for teachers accepting Web 2.0, said the report.

In contrast two thirds of parents questioned said Web 2.0 is a positive addition to the classroom. And children themselves are already using the technologies.

According to the study 54% of 13 to 18 year-olds use YouTube in their spare time, 50% use social networking sites and 47% use Wikipedia.

Bola Rotibi, principle analyst at analyst firm Macehiter Ward Dutton, said there is too much focus on relatively few Web 2.0 applications.

"It is down to education to find which Web 2.0 applications they could use, but you cannot do this by sticking your head in the sand," she said.

She said the team-working and interaction aspects of Web 2.0 could be very useful.

"People in education need to be taught about what Web 2.0 can achieve as well as what it cannot do, including things like security risks. They will be in a better position to make an informed judgement if they understand Web 2.0," added Rotibi.

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