Government is incapable of keeping up with the transformative nature of digital technology in the classroom and shouldn’t try, according to education secretary Michael Gove.
Pointing to a number of recent online success stories – including TES Connect – Mr Gove said that ministers should not attempt to regulate this digital revolution.
Speaking at Bett 2014, a global educational technology exhibition taking place in London this week, he said that such online change should be “bottom up”.
He said: “This technological change is - by its very nature - disruptive, endlessly innovative and driven from the bottom up.
“So precisely the wrong way to react to the transformative opportunities offered by educational technology would be for government to try to dictate, from the centre, every last detail of how schools should respond.
“Government regulation cannot keep pace with the scale of change technology brings. When I spoke here two years ago Instagram and Snapchat had barely been heard of, now they’re mainstream. How can government departments legislate for and regulate innovations which develop at such speed?”
Mr Gove specifically pointed to the success of TES Connect as an example of this “ground up” approach in which teachers are doing it for themselves.
“Like TSL Education – long known in the UK for publishing the ‘teachers’ bible’, the TES – which has over the past decade become one of Europe’s largest ed tech companies.
“Its online platform, TES Connect, now hosts the largest network of teachers in the world – in fact, the largest single-profession social network in the world – connecting 58 million teachers and students from 197 different countries, and containing over 710,000 teaching resources – with downloads now averaging 10 per second – created by teachers for teachers.”