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Dave Hassell, BECTA
DAVE HASSELL is Director of Content & Learning, Teaching and Inclusion at BECTA (formerly known as the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency). Becta's objectives are to influence strategic direction and development of national education policy to best take advantage of technology and to develop a national digital infrastructure and resources strategy leading to greater national coherence.
* In the post-election spending review in May 2010, it was announced that Becta was to be abolished.
What interests you about technology in educaiton?
"Over the last 20 years technology has been one of the things that has had an increasing impact on what we do in schools"
What role does technology have in education?
"There are so many things you can bring to the education world that you previously couldn't do without technology."
"Kids need to be equipt to use the technology that is so pervasive in society."
"For example it can help teach an abstract concept. We can animate it, get kids to investigate it and model it."
Is access to the internet enough?
"Not everyone has access to the internet, we need to improve the level of access people, to make certain all can benefit."
"But having access is simply not enough, what is far more important is that we build this into the broader range of educational that children have, so that at the end of the day they have discerning consideration about what they are using it for."
What do you say to those who don't see the value of the internet?
"The value comes in lots of different ways, one shouldn't look for single answers to satisfy that question."
"The internet can give people access to all sorts of education, whether it's formal or informal, that they couldn't get in other ways."
"It also changes how people connect with others. More and more familes are dispersed in lots of different ways geographically and find the technology is great for keeping in touch and communicating with people in other areas."
Are cultural, social and geographical divides fading with the increasing adoption of technology?
"It can reduce all sorts of barriers, it might be that they can talk to people in a different country which before they couldn't. This can help them understand things that wouldn;t be possible in the same way. But the technology is not the only way of doing that.
"We must instill in every child that questioning, discerning perspective which means when they are out in their environment around them, they are considering why things happen the way they do, whether they should happen as they do, and think about what they might do to change what is going on around them."