This was in one of the UK dalies today…. coming soon: Virtual Teacher app…
All exams will be taken online within 10 years, says independent schools leader
Independent Association of Prep Schools chief executive to tell conference that days of written tests will soon be over
The Guardian, Friday 20 September 2013
Pupils at a school in Fishguard use iPads for school work
Children use iPads at a school in Fishguard. Some schools have begun purchasing tablet computers for their pupils. Photograph: Dimitris Legakis/D Legakis Photography/Athena
The leader of one of the largest independent schools associations will make the bold claim that all examinations will be conducted online within 10 years.
David Hanson, the chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools, will tell headteachers at the association’s annual conference that the days of examiners having to decipher hastily scribbled answers will soon be over.
“I predict that in 10 years’ time maths, English and science will still be core subjects but technology will have been completely embraced and will be used extensively by a generation of teachers who grew up with it,” he will say on Friday.
“Assessment will be by online adaptive tests. All schools, including independent schools, will be required to benchmark and thereafter monitor and report on pupils’ progress and achievement using national standardised tests.”
In a sign of the times, the Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock, an independent school, began teaching all lessons using iPads in 2010, becoming, it is believed, the first in the world to do so. Others have followed suit in purchasing tablet computers for their pupils, including some state schools,
But Valerie Thompson, the chief executive of the e-Learning Foundation, said that while taking examinations online by 2023 was a worthy aspiration, a technology postcode lottery would disadvantage some pupils in two ways. The first is that while some schools have up-to-date technology and encourage pupils to build their keyboard speed and confidence others do not, and the second is the lack of internet access at home for some children.
“We still have about 750,0000 children in 600,000 homes who cannot access the internet via a computer from the bedroom,” she said. “You’re going to lose out if online exams become the norm a) if you’re poor and b) unlucky enough to go to a school that doesn’t pursue it [technology] as a priority.”
In his speech, Hanson will also say that school performance audits carried out remotely and based on the results of the online exams will replace inspections, except for the minority of schools that fall below expected performance.