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How IT presents new challenges, opportunities and dangers to prep schools May 9, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in Independent Education, Magazines.
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IT is the focus of the latest issue of Prep School magazine, which has arrived back from our printers today.

The summer term issue features examples of the impact that technology is having in the classroom.

Our cover stars are pupils from Sedbergh Junior School, pictured with iPads that were introduced to lessons at the start of the school year. Headmaster Scott Carnochan outlines how the school has benefitted from the investment.

Elsewhere in the 74th issue, Stephen Lockner, Deputy Head at The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells, looks at the concept of ‘flipped classrooms’ and how he is using a blog and YouTube videos to supplement lessons.

But the magazine also sounds a warning about the use of IT. Dr Emma Bond, from University Campus Suffolk, and Dr Martin Hine, of St Joseph’s College in Ipswich, explore the risks posed to children online.

Here is an extract from their article, which is entitled Protection, participation and pornography: shifting boundaries for prep schools:

“…what impact do current technologies and their associated risks have on children’s lives? It is unrealistic and unhelpful to simply ‘blame the technology’ and we should avoid deterministic approaches that undermine the diversity of children’s lived realities. Not all childhoods, after all, are the same.

We need to understand the complex relationships between children, technology and their everyday lives. Although recent technological developments have changed the landscape of risk in relation to childhood, they also offer unprecedented opportunities for children to learn, socialise and participate in the knowledge economy.

Interestingly, it is the children from wealthier families who have earlier and more personalised access to new media environments – ever more frequently unsupervised, who can be at increased risk.  Furthermore, the boundaries between offline and online worlds are becoming blurred.

The internet, mobile and interactive technologies are not, however, going to disappear and it is essential to understand how children and young people navigate new digital environments, develop critical digital literacy skills, manage and negotiate risk and behave appropriately and responsibly in online environments.”

To read the magazine online, go to www.prepschoolmag.co.uk

To contribute to a future issue of Prep School magazine, email editor@prepschoolmag.co.uk. For advertising enquiries, call Madeleine Anderson on 01394 389855 or email manderson@johncatt.com. For all subscription enquiries, visit our bookshop.

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