London Schoolchildren to get Broadband Learning at Home

Soon, too soon for some, there will be no excuse for not having your homework done as London education authorities are planning to install broadband in the homes of London schoolchildren. , This initiative by the London Education authorities is timely in the light of a recent OECD report that identified “Disappointing” the use of ICT (computer & technology) in upper secondary schools, even in the most advanced countries, despite major investment outlays over the past 20 years.

With broadband already in more than 80 per cent of London classrooms, the plan now is to extend the initiative and allow pupils at primary and secondary schools, access to high-speed Internet services at home. That means a portal that supports a million people, who will have a personal log-on, 25MB of space, their own email and of course, access to a cornucopia of online learning materials.

As we’ve previously reported extending learning to the home has been very successful in trials in Kingston Upon Hull in the UK where, using the KIT TVIP service, pupils are able to work on the school’s servers using a keyboard, a Set Top Box and their television.

It looks like there will be very few excuses left for not attending class either, unless you are at death’s door, since the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) has created an education network that shares IT resources through classes held via video-conferencing, virtual field trips and personalised pupil programmes. Virtual field tripe, eh?  Looks like you won’t even be able to say the damp brings on an asthma attack when the tree identification trip can be done from the comfort of that lovely classroom. The personalised learning feature will facilitate a managed learning environment, through online facilities.

When you put the words children and Internet together the result sparks fear in the hearts of many parents, so readers will be relieved to learn that the content filtering and managed access in place on the machines in schools is being extended to the children’s homes.  In fact a service called ‘LGfL at Home’ will filter the home broadband service.  Parents can have a password to circumvent the filtering while children can access the online learning resources.

Last April Digital Lifestyles looked at Kingston Communication’s collaboration with an East Yorkshire school that has led to an exciting project to engage pupils in interactive learning, both at home and in the classroom. (story link)

London Grid for Learning