‘Give them a laptop and a group of pupils will teach themselves’

“When I need to know something, I can find it out in five minutes,” says a 12-year-old in Gateshead. This article from the Guardian highlights the movement from formal to informal learning in children as young as 6. An experiment conducted in Hyderabad, India demonstrated that when left to their own devices, they were able to learn not only how to use the laptop but to then interact with it in order to develop their language skills using a speech to text program. Back in the UK, school children were given GCSE questions to work on and a laptop – not only did they get the questions right most of the time but when put in examination setting some months later (without the laptop!) their results were consistently high. This article highlights the wider ongoing learning debate – is it time to ‘let go’ and move away from structure into exploration?