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NEWS


50% of parents are worried about their children's education online


When the education system shifted to lockdown in March, Nominet’s


latest Digital Futures research found that only one in four (26%) of parents were able to offer their children uninterrupted access to the internet for home learning. One fifth (20%) did not have a consistently reliable connection. This challenge was exacerbated by the fact that one in five (21%) parents of school-aged children had to share their devices with their children to juggle the demands of remote working and home-schooling. Nominet’s research found that a third (30%) of Britons struggled to


work remotely because of poor internet access or bad internet connections. Russell Haworth, CEO at Nominet says: “Worryingly, our Digital Futures


Half of all parents of school aged children in the UK feel that their children’s education will suffer as a direct result of not having access to the necessary tech equipment should they need to learn from home – whether due to needing to self-isolate, or in the event of school closure– according to new research released by Nominet, the profit with a purpose company operating at the heart of the UK’s internet infrastructure. With England entering its third national lockdown and the Covid-19


vaccination programme anticipated to take at least until Autumn 2021 to be completed, home-schooling and digital learning is becoming a common occurrence for children across the country. The latest Department for Education report found that 64% of state-funded secondaries and 22% of primaries in England have one or more pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus in the school.


research has found that as parents had to share devices with children in lockdown, one in five were essentially forced to choose between working or giving their children access to an education. With over half of schools having pupils isolating at home, this problem is not going away any t ime soon. “Digital poverty is a very real issue that must be tackled across the UK


to ensure all children have access to the education they need. As a society, we have a duty to ensure no young person is left behind or misses out on educational opportunities due to a lack of digital access, and at Nominet we remain absolutely committed to collaborating with businesses, charities, communities and government alike to find and implement the solutions needed. “Ofcom has estimated that more than 1.75 million children have no


access to a laptop, and an insufficient number of devices in family homes, data costs and inadequate internet connections all exacerbate the situation.”


uhttps://www.nominet.uk/digital-futures//


FutureLearn launches six new ‘ExpertTracks’ for teachers to help boost access to on-demand professional skills


FutureLearn, the leading social learning platform, has announced the launch of over 35 new ‘ExpertTracks’, with six in the teaching sector which have been designed to give individuals flexible, subscription-based access to in- demand skills, on-demand. ExpertTracks are a new digital product from FutureLearn that will allow


teachers to build knowledge and expertise around their lifestyle, shaping their own personal development journey towards their ultimate career goals. Available to learn now, FutureLearn’s wide range of teaching-focused


ExpertTracks include: ‘How to Plan and Teach Great English Lessons’ by the British Council; ‘Blended Learning Essentials for Vocational Education and Training’ by the University of Leeds; ‘Teaching Practical Science’, ‘Volunteering in the Classroom: Bringing STEM Industry into Schools’ and ‘Assessment for Learning’ by National STEM Learning Centre; and ‘Educational Neuroscience’ by Central Queensland University. You can find the full selection of all FutureLearn ExpertTracks here. This complements the existing range of short courses designed to help teachers during the pandemic including FutureLearn’s own award-winning How To Teach Online course. ExpertTracks are available on demand and have been designed to fit the


needs of learners of all backgrounds and experience levels, meaning they can dive deeper into a subject and learn new skills around their busy lives. Consisting of three or more short courses, ExpertTracks are automated and peer assessed, and learners can earn valuable employer relevant certificates as they progress through their chosen pathways, helping them stand out across


10 www.education-today.co.uk January 2021


CV, interview and internal progression discussions. According to Matt Jenner, Head of Learning at FutureLearn: “At


FutureLearn, our mission is to transform access to education. The past year has been exceptionally challenging, with many across the sector still facing ongoing disruptions to their learning and teaching as we move into the new year. We’re proud, however, to do our part to help millions of teachers and learners across the globe keep moving forward. From our award-winning FutureLearn branded How to Teach Online course, launched to help teachers navigate the ‘new normal’, to our brand new selection of teaching ExpertTracks, we are delighted to provide accessible, high-quality upskilling opportunities for education professionals so that they can continue to provide the most effective learning experiences for their students.”


uhttps://www.futurelearn.com/experttracks


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