Becta becomes fan of Facebook

UK education body urges teachers to communicate

Over half of UK teachers believe that Facebook and other Web 2.0 technologies should be used in lessons, according to a new study.

The survey, conducted by UK education technology agency Becta, found that bringing tools such as wikis, blogs and social networking into the classroom could draw out quieter pupils, leading to greater participation.

Teachers also reported a greater sense of student pride in work published online, leading to better fact-checking and fewer grammatical errors, as well as a willingness to extend debate and learning beyond the bell.

The survey also found that while the majority of teachers have never exploited the web in the classroom, around 70% of the 100 surveyed used it to plan lessons, while 45% had used social networking sites in their spare time. Teachers are also revealed as fans of blogging, with 29% having committed their thoughts online at some point.

Students proved to be equally comfortable in the digital age, with 74% regular users of social-networking accounts, and 78% comfortable uploading photos or video clips to sites such as YouTube.

"Some schools and individual teachers have been very innovative in developing their use of web 2.0 to support learning," said Becta's strategy and comms director Tony Richardson.

"However, clearly teachers need the support, time and space to develop skills and practices that will allow them to integrate Web 2.0 into lessons. The report shows the impact it can have on the motivation and engagement of pupils. We need to ensure that these benefits are extended to all learners."

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