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ICT and Creativity in Education: Examining the Effect That New Labour Policy Had on Creative ICT Practice,

and Why This Practice is Important

A dissertation submitted to the University of Manchester for the degree of Master of Arts in the Faculty of Humanities

2011 James Dumolo Ralley School of Arts, Histories and Cultures

2 LIST OF CONTENTS ABBREVIATIONS, INITIALISMS, AND ACRONYMS .. 3 ABSTRACT ............. 4 DECLARATION .. 5 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY STATEMENT .. 6 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .. 7 ICT AND CREATIVITY IN EDUCATION: EXAMINING THE EFFECT THAT NEW LABOUR POLICY HAD ON CREATIVE ICT PRACTICE, AND WHY THIS PRACTICE IS IMPORTANT . 8 New Labour and ICT .. 13 New Labour's Education Policy . 13 New Labour's ICT Policy in Education .. 15 The Creative Use of ICT 22 What is ICT? 22 What is Creativity? .. 22 Why was Creativity Important for New Labour? ... 24 What Place did ICT Have in the Creativity Agenda? .... 27 Case Studies of Creative ICT Practice 32 Engagement With ICT .. 39 Digital Natives 39 The Digital Divide and Digital Literacy 41 Their Space and the Third Space . 43 ICT and Education After New Labour .. 48 New Labour's Legacy .... 48 The Coalition's Education Policy .... 50 The Coalition's ICT Policy in Education ........ 53 Conclusion 55 Summation .. 55 Questions for Future Study . 57 Final Remarks 58 REFERENCES .. 60 FINAL WORD COUNT: 14,749

3 ABBREVIATIONS, INITIALISMS, AND ACRONYMS ATP Becta BIS CCE CPD CSFC DCMS DfE DfEE EBac ESRC GCSE ICT KS LEA NACCCE NCSL nfer NGfL NOF OECD Ofsted PISA RSA SATs STEM TED TDA TTA Approved Training Provider British Educational Communications and Technology Agency Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Creativity, Culture and Education Continuing Professional Development Children, Schools and Families Committee Department for Culture, Media and Sport Department for Education Department for Education and Employment English Baccalaureate The Economic and Social Research Council General Certificate of Secondary Education Information and Communication Technology Key Stage Local Education Authority National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education National College for School Leadership National Foundation for Educational Research National Grid for Learning New Opportunities Fund Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The Office for Standards in Education (now the Office for Standards in Education, Childrens Services and Skills) Programme for International Student Assessment Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce National Curriculum assessments Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Technology Entertainment and Design Training and Development Agency for Schools Teacher Training Agency

4 ABSTRACT As the value of traditional academic qualifications falls there is increased pressure on schools and teachers to provide children with the knowledge and skills that they will need to survive and prosper in the current and future knowledge-based economy. In addition to this, the increasing ubiquity of information and communication technologies (ICT) both inside schools and out, means that there is extra pressure on teachers to harness this new technology to improve teaching and learning. With this in mind the New Labour government (1997-2010) set up the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) and the New Opportunities Fund Continuing Professional Development scheme (NOF). These costly initiatives aimed to increase the provision and use of ICT in schools, and to ensure that the workforce of the future would be skilled, creative, and intelligent. However, the government failed to take into account the complexities of the education system, and the potential barriers to effective creative use of ICT in schools. This dissertation explores how New Labours marketized conception of education meant that the NGfL and NOF failed to harness the full potential of creative ICT practice. It looks at why creativity was important for New Labour, why the integration of ICT practice in schools is crucial, and why creative teaching and creative learning are essential for the future development of the education system. It ends with a look at the current Coalition governments ICT policy in education, and makes recommendations for areas of future research.

5 DECLARATION No portion of the work referred to in this dissertation has been submitted in support of an application for another degree or qualification of this or any other university or other institute of learning.

6 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY STATEMENT i. The author of this dissertation (including any appendices and/or

schedules to this dissertation) owns certain copyright or related rights in it (the Copyright) and s/he has given The University of Manchester certain rights to use such Copyright, including for administrative purposes. ii. Copies of this dissertation, either in full or in extracts and whether in hard or electronic copy, may be made only in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) and regulations issued under it or, where appropriate, in accordance with licensing agreements which the University has entered into. This page must form part of any such copies made. iii. The ownership of certain Copyright, patents, designs, trade marks and other intellectual property (the Intellectual Property) and any reproductions of copyright works in the dissertation, for example graphs and tables (Reproductions), which may be described in this dissertation, may not be owned by the author and may be owned by third parties. Such Intellectual Property and Reproductions cannot and must not be made available for use without the prior written permission of the owner(s) of the relevant Intellectual Property and/or Reproductions. iv. Further information on the conditions under which disclosure, publication and commercialisation of this dissertation, the Copyright and any Intellectual Property and/or Reproductions described in it may take place is available in the University IP Policy (see, in any relevant Dissertation restriction declarations deposited in the University Library, The University Librarys regulations (see and in The Universitys Guidance for the Presentation of Dissertations.


Thanks to Abi, Simon, and Esme for their patience, guidance, and support over the last year. Thanks to Alex, Julian, Lorna, Paul, Ros, and Sunny for their corrections and suggestions. Thanks to Mom and Dad, obviously. Thanks to Jenny for putting up with me over the last few months. Thanks to Nils. Finally, thanks to Tim for all of the above and everything else besides: I genuinely wouldnt and couldnt have done any of this without you.

8 ICT and Creativity in Education: Examining the Effect That New Labour Policy Had on Creative ICT Practice, and Why This Practice is Important

The current education system, and the role that information and communication technology (ICT) and creativity play within that system, was shaped dramatically by the instrumental policy initiatives of the New Labour government.1 This dissertation will look at the ways in which effective creative ICT practice can form an important part of a good education system, and how the policy agenda pursued by New Labour failed to harness its full potential. The National Curriculum constitutes a large part of each individual school curriculum dictating what teachers have to teach and what children have to learn. ICT holds a key position at the heart of that National Curriculum, being both a statutory subject in its own right and a cross-curricular requirement along with literacy and numeracy. New Labour saw ICT in education as an important area for development, and its changes in education policy led to the creation of several large and costly initiatives that aimed to improve the provision and integration of ICT in schools. These initiatives led to an increase in the use of ICT in primary schools and a notable improvement in creative ICT practice. Nevertheless, they have been widely criticized for failing to fully realise their objectives, and for failing to properly exploit the perceived benefits of creative ICT use. Researchers in educational technology Selwyn, Potter, and Cranmer (2009) highlight some of these criticisms:

By New Labour I refer to the Labour government that was in power between 1997 and 2010, under the leaderships of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and which pursued a political project that was distinct from previous Labour governments and the current Labour party under Ed Miliband.

9 Closer inspection [of research data] shows many primary pupils actual engagement with ICT to be often perfunctory and unspectacular especially within the school setting . . . Creative and collaborative uses of so-called Web 2.0 applications were not prevalent either inside or outside school, with passive consumption rather than active production the dominant mode of engagement . . . primary schools need to be recast as sites of ICT exploration rather than ICT restriction . . . there is a clear need to enthuse children about learning, and about learning with ICTs. (pp. 928-930) Published 12 years after New Labour came to power, this report is highly critical of the governments ICT policies in education. The writers put forward the argument that this set of large, expensive government initiatives fundamentally failed to achieve their aims. The educational theorist Ken Robinson (2010a; 2010b) holds the view that the current education system is outdated and broken. He has radical and idealistic theories about the need for a system-wide revolution in teaching and learning, and a paradigmatic shift in the way education is viewed. Despite their radical nature, Robinsons ideas nevertheless provide an introduction to some of the key criticisms of the education system that will be addressed below. It is important to bear in mind that he is something of an evangelist for creativity in education, and that his rhetoric should be viewed as such. Robinsons (2010a) talk at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in 2009 called Changing Education Paradigms, lays out his thesis. In short, he says that schools are failing to perform. He says that whilst schools are attempting to prepare children for life in the 21st century, to ensure that they contribute meaningfully to the economy, and to instil in them a sense

10 of rich personal identity, they are working within a fundamentally broken system: theyre trying to meet the future by doing what they did in the past, and on the way theyre alienating millions of kids who dont see any purpose in going to school (Robinson, 2010a). His argument centres on the idea that the education system is still based on a set of old Industrial-era principles that hold traditional academic abilities as the true goal of education, marginalizing creative abilities and the majority of children in the process. For Robinson this regressive model of education has proliferated a culture of standardization throughout the entire system. Standard class sizes, rigid age boundaries, conformity of behaviour and ideas, standardized testing, and the National Curriculum are all products of this tightening, homogenizing trend in education. Talking at the 2010 Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) conference Robinson criticizes the idea that education starts here, and you go through a track, and if you do everything right, you will end up set for the rest of your life. (Robinson, 2010b) He says that we are obsessed with getting people to college, certain sorts of college . . . not everybody needs to go, and not everybody needs to go now. (Robinson, 2010b) Robinson (2010a) criticizes the education system for creating schools that are dull and uninspiring. He says that the world is becoming a more intensely stimulating place, with the increasing ubiquity of computers . . . iPhones . . . advertising hoardings . . . hundreds of TV channels. Yet schools penalize children for being distracted in lessons: distracted from Boring stuff, at school for the most part. (Robinson, 2010a) He thinks that schools need to be more interesting, and that it is their responsibility to work harder to engage children. He goes on to say that this dull environment stifles creativity, and reinforces the pervasive idea that schools teach what is correct; that there is a transmission of

11 knowledge from teacher to child; that theres one answer, its at the back, and dont look. And dont copy because thats cheating. (Robinson, 2010a) Robinson (2010a) argues that ideas about information and knowledge are conceived differently inside schools to out, and that outside school what they call cheating is instead labelled, collaboration. For him there needs to be less emphasis on immutable facts, and more time given to intellectual exploration and creativity. Creative ICT practice is not the panacea that will fix education; indeed, education might not be as broken as Robinson suggests. But it is one of the tools that teachers, educators, and policy makers can use to cater to different interests and passions, to move away from a reliance on standardization and conformity, to make teaching and learning interesting and engaging, and to develop important creative thinking skills. Robinson (2010b) says that business, multimedia, and Internet technologies combined with the extraordinary talents of teachers, provide an opportunity to revolutionise education. This dissertation will explore the reasons why this didnt happen under New Labour, and what the potential is for it happening in the future. The first part will look at government education policy, specifically New Labours ICT policy between 1997 and 2010. It will identify the ways in which the government conceived of the importance of ICT, and provide a context for the discussions in subsequent sections. The second part will explore the idea of creative ICT practice and what impact it might have on teaching and learning, through an examination of theory and case studies. The third part will examine the relationship that children have with ICT, and what effect this might have on teaching and learning. Finally, the fourth part will move from the past to look at the present state of education, focusing on the legacies of thirteen years of New

12 Labour policy, and the current Coalition government policy and how it will affect creative ICT practice in schools. It will end with a discussion of the challenges facing the education system with specific reference to ICT and creativity, and questions that the preceding discussion has brought up. For the sake of focus the analysis will be restricted, as far as is possible, to primary education in England. As a consequence of devolution, the Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish education systems are significantly different, and an analysis of these is beyond the scope of this dissertation.

13 New Labour and ICT

New Labours Education Policy. Education was New Labours number one priority (Labour Party, ND). For them it represented a synthesis between a sector that is state funded and that controlled public institutions, and a sector dominated by the market driven forces of neoliberalism. It was a clear expression of their politics of The Third Way, which enabled New Labour to blend the traditional left-wing principles of social democracy with right-wing neoliberal ideals. At its core the Third Way rejected the idea of a political party imposing a system of beliefs and political theories on the society that they govern, and instead took a more pragmatic approach, reshaping its own policies around society itself (Stephens, 2001; Steger & Roy, 2010). Under the guiding ethos of The Third Way, education and the modernisation of the education system would provide Britain with a highly skilled workforce able to compete in the global knowledge economy (Peters, 2001). At the Labour Party conference in 1997 Tony Blair (ND) said: We know what makes a successful creative economy. Educate the people . . . Our goal: to make Britain the best-educated and skilled country in the world; a nation, not of a few talents, but of all the talents. And every single part of our schools system must be modernised to achieve it. In this speech Blair is advocating educational reform to improve economic stability, and pushing for a new, economically driven education policy. The 1997 Excellence in Schools education White Paper was the first White Paper to be released by the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) under New Labour. It talks about the need for progressive change and collective responsibility, and the monitoring of standards that would drive this change.

14 National league tables would become a crucial indicator of each schools overall performance; schools would be more accountable to the wider public, with more data being released so that parents can make informed choices about which schools they send their children to. The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) and Local Education Authorities (LEAs) had increased responsibilities for monitoring and setting standards in schools, with LEAs directly overseeing school development plans and Ofsted producing more quantitative data to make national comparisons between schools (DfEE, 1997). Under New Labours economically driven education policy, education was marketized, and the role of the head teacher was transformed into that of a manager. Social Policy commentator Nigel Wright describes how New Labour wished to create a generation of head teachers who were strong, heroic leaders of schools. There was a shift from wanting well-educated heads to wanting welltrained heads. Wright (2001) notes: While not denying the usefulness of training, the purpose of which is to cope with the known, it is the apparent exclusion of the educational, the purpose of which is to prepare for the unknown, which raises concerns . . . Schools are part of the economic project which seeks greater productivity in a niche marketed high-wage, high-skill economy (p. 277). He questions what impact this shift in culture is having on children: if most of their school lives are focused on results and testing then what is the scope for intrinsic interest, amusement, relaxation or sheer curiosity? How well do our schools foster these elements which should contribute to a learning society? (Wright, 2001, p. 278) He argues that increased focus on testing and standards is leading to the commodification of education, and is creating commodities out of children. There is added pressure on them to perform well in tests, partly

15 because the success of the teacher, head teacher, and school depends on these good results (Wright, 2001; Helsby, 1999).

New Labours ICT Policy in Education Teaching ICT is statutory between Key Stage (KS) 1 and KS42. At the end of each stage children are assessed, either using level descriptions assigned by teachers, or national tests and qualifications, like SATs and GCSEs. The ICT curriculum sets out a programme of study that defines exactly what each child has to learn during each of these stages (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), 1999). The progression in knowledge, skills and understanding from KS1 to KS4 is linear and logical. Pupils move from basic exploration and familiarisation with key software and hardware; to expanding their research and presentation skills; to identifying the most effective uses of ICT in a range of educational settings; to combining information from a variety of sources and using a range of tools independently and effectively (QCA, 1999, pp. 16-23). Like numeracy and literacy, the National Curriculum requires ICT to be embedded in all other subject, except for physical education (Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), ND). This puts added pressure on teachers to ensure that all children have even the most basic set of ICT skills. In 1997 New Labour had a vision for ICT in education. In the introduction to the Excellence in Schools White Paper, Secretary of State for Education and Employment David Blunkett set out his stall:

Key Stages are used to divide up the National Curriculum. From ages five to 11 children attend primary school, and progress through KS1 and KS2. From ages 11 to 16 children attend secondary school and progress through KS3 and KS4. (Directgov, ND)

16 In the last 20 years, business has been transformed by new technology, particularly computers and communication networks. But education has been affected only marginally. We cannot prepare our children for the world of tomorrow with yesterdays technologies (DfEE, 1997, p. 41). New Labour emphasized the vocational potential of ICT. Their 1997 Manifesto shows a key commitment to increasing the provision for ICT in schools, meaning the amount of ICT in schools (Labour Party, ND). A manifestation of this commitment is their promise to set up a National Grid for Learning (NGfL), with the aim of connecting all schools to the Internet, training teachers how to use new technologies to teach more effectively, giving children the ICT skills to thrive in the modern workplace, and developing world-class education software (Labour Party, ND). In this dissertation the NGfL, along with the National Lottery Funded New Opportunities Fund (NOF) continuing professional development (CPD) scheme, will serve as exemplars to represent New Labours failure to harness the potential of creative ICT practice. It is important to note that in addition to the NGfL and NOF, New Labour later introduced the Harnessing Technology in Schools Strategy, the 250 million Laptops for Teachers scheme, and the 3 billion Building Schools for the Future programme, all of which increased the provision of ICT in schools to some degree (Cox, 2009). In addition to this, individual schools had to have specific ICT policies and appoint ICT coordinators (Cox, 2009). The issues are many and complex, and a discussion of initiatives other than the NGfL and NOF is outside the scope of this dissertation. The National Grid for Learning The government gave 1.45 billion to the NGfL programme between 1998 and 2003, with the implementation being managed by the British Educational

17 Communications and Technology Agency (Becta)3 (Cox, 2009, p. 264). In a confusing and constantly changing technological world the NGfL would facilitate schools access to the hardware, software, and content necessary for ensuring that teachers feel confident and are competent to teach ICT, that school leavers have a good understanding of ICT, and that Britain becomes a centre for excellence in the development of networked software content (Becta, 2001, p. 1). In the introduction to New Labours NGfL White Paper, Connecting the Learning Society, Tony Blair continued the modernizing rhetoric that is indicative of Labours political programme. The NGfL was characterized as a benevolent force that would guide users around a wealth of content, it would give teachers advice on effective ways of teaching, and it would enhance standards, literacy, numeracy, [and] subject knowledge (DfEE, 1997, p. ii). The Grid would also integrate with New Labours flagship literacy and numeracy strategies, providing an essential tool to meet their respective targets; it would engage a range of private ICT companies who would compete to provide services to all 32,000 schools in the country; and it would be supported by the governments clear but flexible policy framework in which the Grid can flourish. (DfEE, 1997, p. 7) The NGfL represented the biggest public-private partnership in any education system anywhere in the world. (Selwyn, 2000, p. 64) Consortia of private technology companies provided the range of complex services that the Grid would require. Becta then kite-marked these services, officially endorsing their suitability for use in schools, and then sold the services Becta [led] the national drive to inspire and lead the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning. (Becta, 2011) Until its abolition in 2011 by the Coalition government it was a quango funded by the DfEE that had responsibility for leadership, research, evaluation, independent advice, and provision of practical tools, regarding ICT in the education sector.

18 through a procurement framework to LEAs, who would then sell them on to schools (Selwyn, 2000). The NGfL fit into New Labours modernizing, marketized political project, and its goal was to stimulate growth in the UK technology industry as much as it was to raise academic standards and achievement. However, when the NGfL was closed down in 2006, Andrew Pinder (2006) the Chairman of Becta said: It is felt generally that technology has underperformed in education . . . It does not appear to have produced as much as it might have done. Education studies lecturer Sarah Younie (2006) says that this top-down method of implementation from government to quango to schools is crude and ineffective. She says it is well known that change is either very slow or tends to fail. Implementation is a complex procedure, not a direct translation from government policy to practice. (Younie, 2006, p. 385) Younie (2006) concedes that the NGfL facilitated an increase in ICT resources and training for schools, and that some local education authorities and schools did very well out of it, but concludes that ultimately it was little more than a spectacularly expensive failure, and a prime example of a government blundering into a situation that is little understood. It is seen to have failed on five crucial levels: insufficient leadership and expertise coordinating the diverse and multiple agencies,4 disparities of funding between schools and LEAs, differing levels of ICT provision in different areas, inequable quality of training, and an overall limited impact on pedagogy. (Younie, 2006, p. 388)

These being: Ofsted, the DfEE, TTA, Becta, LEAs, the ICT supply industry, individual schools, the NOF, the DCMS, and the NCSL (see glossary for the meanings of these terms).

19 The New Opportunities Fund Alongside the NGfL New Labour ran a 180 million scheme in England to support CPD that was funded by the NOF. The scheme paid for a network of private Approved Training Providers (ATPs) to teach teachers how to embed creative ICT pedagogy into their teaching practice, and how to use the technologies made accessible by the NGfL to teach more effectively, and make learning more effective (Kirkwood, Parton, van der Kuyl, & Grant, 2000). Like the NGfL the NOF was costly and relatively unsuccessful in achieving its original aims. An evaluation by MirandaNet (2004) concluded that the worthy intention of raising pedagogical awareness has not been fully met (p. 50). Instead of the proposed focus on creative uses of technology, many ATPs ended up delivering basic skills input sessions. The evaluation also found that the effectiveness of NOF was frequently undermined by a mismatch between the aims of the programme and some teachers expectations and needs (MirandaNet, 2004, p. 43). Many training sessions were ineffective because of a lack of basic ICT skills amongst teachers. After the NOF scheme ended in 2003, individual schools and LEAs took sole responsibility for ICT CPD provision. A literature review of CPD in ICT for teachers by Daly, Pachler, and Pelletier (2009) concluded that despite the vast majority of teachers receiving some form of ICT CPD, the actual content and effectiveness of that training was poor (p. 4). In contrast to this, a Becta (2009b) report in the same year found that ICT was well integrated into both primary and secondary schools, and especially primary, where teachers use of technology . . . is relatively mature compared to other sectors. (p. 6) There is however a significant distinction to be made between the quantity of teachers that use ICT and the quality of that use and the effect that it has on teaching and

20 learning. Just as childrens use of ICT was assessed to be often perfunctory and unspectacular (Selwyn, Potter, & Cranmer, 2009, p. 928) so is teachers use. The review highlights the prevalence of surface-level adoption, having very little effect on pedagogy (Daly, Pachler, & Pelletier, 2009, p. 6). Its recommendations are for a move away from mass-adoption approaches of CPD and development of skills, to fostering an individualized learning culture for teachers; recognizing that teachers themselves are learners and professionals, and not simply administrators who deliver the curriculum in whatever way is demanded of them. The ineffectiveness of ICT CPD training is indicative of the way in which New Labours education policy agenda changed the role of teachers. Echoing Ken Robinsons criticisms that were examined in the introduction, educationalists Reid, Brain, and Comerford Boys (2004) argue that there was a significant shift towards standardization and customization in teaching and learning (p. 262), which began with the Conservative Party in the late 1980s and was continued by New Labour into the 2000s. The role of the teacher was systematically de-professionalized; teachers no longer teach children, but lead childrens learning, and deliver the National Curriculum. Under New Labour teaching became overloaded and complex, and the education system became focused on a production-line delivery of governmental initiatives. (Reid, Brain, & Comerford Boys, 2004, p. 257) This over-prescription left little time for effective CPD, and what CPD that did take place was inevitably based on new strategies and National Curriculum standards: The focus has not been on equipping teachers with the skills to engage in professional self-development, to develop evidence-based practice, to run educational teams, to innovate or facilitate, but rather to prepare a

21 generation of teachers as technicians, or deliverers of set strategies (Reid, Brain, & Comerford Boys, 2004, p. 263). John Furlong (2005) concurs, arguing that New Labour systematically phased out and marginalized individualized CPD. He says that most CPD was short term, highly practical and focused almost entirely on helping teachers meet government targets that it had set itself. (Furlong, 2005, p. 129) Rather than offering teachers the time, resources, and freedom to become better teachers, the change in culture focused instead on training them to become better curriculum leaders. Furlong (2005) suggests a return to professionalism in teaching, and a renewed emphasis on CPD as a tool to improve pedagogy and practice, and not simply to increase efficiency of delivery. Summation New Labours approach to education and ICT in education was a product of their wider political project. The NGfL and NOF aimed to increase the provision of ICT in schools, and to make teachers more effective at using that technology, but this top-down method of governance did not work. The 1.6 billion investment schemes gave schools more ICT, but they did not facilitate a system-wide shift in educational practice. Ken Robinson (2010a; 2010b) argues that creativity and creative ICT practice are crucial to the reform and success of the education system. The critics of New Labour suggest a need for a renewed focus on pedagogy, more freedom in decision-making devolved down to individual teachers, and a more flexible approach to ICT in general. The next section examines creative ICT practice, identifying what it is, what effect it can have on teaching and learning, and how it can be successfully implemented.

22 The Creative Use of ICT

What is ICT? The initialism ICT was coined by the The Independent ICT in Schools Commission (1997) in the Stevenson Report: an independent enquiry on the use of technology in schools that was commissioned by New Labour. ICT is distinct from IT (Information Technology) in that it includes communication, which was inserted to reflect the increasing role of both information and communication technologies in all aspects of society (The Independent ICT in Schools Commission, 1997, p. 12). Fourteen years ago this meant personal computers and laptops with wired connections to the Internet, basic mobile phones, and creative digital media tools like stills cameras, video cameras, graphics tablets, roamers, and more. Since then schools have made efforts to keep up to date with the endless advance of technology. To varying degrees they have also seen interactive whiteboards (IWBs), digital projectors, laptops, Wi-Fi, smartphones, and tablet PCs become a part of daily life (Heppell, 2010).

What is Creativity? The National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education (NACCCE) (1999) was set up by New Labour to investigate the place of creativity and culture in compulsory education, and to make proposals for principles, policies and practice. (p.2) Chaired by Ken Robinson, the NACCCE produced a report, All Our Futures, which ultimately led to the creation of Creative Partnerships5, the governments flagship creativity in schools programme that For more information on Creative Partnerships I suggest reading Sophie Wards (2010) PhD thesis, Understanding Creative Partnerships: An

23 ran between 2002 and 2011 and cost around 380 million (based on projections from the first seven years) (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2010, p. 23). The report attempts to define the abstract concept of creativity by dividing it into four parts. It defines it as Imaginative activity fashioned so as to produce outcomes that are both original and of value. (NACCCE, 1999, p. 30) Creative processes necessarily involve behaving and thinking imaginatively, positing alternative solutions to problems, thinking around situations, and engaging in mental play. They are a form of purposeful activity, an active, engaged application of imagination to meet a particular goal. They involve the generation of something original, which may be original in relation to the creators own experience, that of her peer group, or just uniquely and historically original. Finally they must be of some value, as defined in relation to the original objective of the process. For a creative activity to be valuable it doesnt have to produce something good, or beautiful, or useful, or possess any other subjective quality; instead value is assessed on an individual basis, and requires judgement and criticism [and] critical thinking (NACCCE, 1999, p. 33). The most important distinction in the NACCCEs (1999) creative learning theory that pertains to creative ICT practice is that between teaching creatively and teaching for creativity (p. 102). Teaching creatively requires effort on the part of the teacher to make routine activities fun, exciting, and engaging for children. It is only once a teacher is teaching creatively that they can begin to teach for creativity, and start to develop young peoples own creative thinking examination of policy and practice. It is a well-researched and comprehensive assessment of the scheme and the part it played in New Labours education policy. Covering similar ground to this dissertation, she argues that in the Creative Partnerships programme New Labour utilized the lofty rhetoric of the NACCCE report to mask its instrumental, economically-driven public policy agenda (Ward, 2010).

24 or behaviour (NACCCE, 1999, p. 103). The NACCCE (1999) defines three key areas in teaching for creativity. First is encouraging children to pursue their creative interests, giving them the chance to act out those interests, and giving them the confidence to try again when they have failed (NACCCE, 1999, p. 103). Second is identifying where each childs creative potential lies, be it in the arts, sciences, or humanities (NACCCE, 1999, p. 103). Third is fostering creativity through facilitating creativity, by teaching children that creativity is not something you have or you dont have, but that it is gained through a development of skills and hard work (NACCCE, 1999, p. 104). Jeffrey and Craft (2004) affirmed the validity of these three key areas in their analysis of the relationship between teaching creatively and teaching for creativity. Their paper draws on classroom-based observations, highlighting the importance of teaching creatively, and concluding that learners model themselves on their teachers approach . . . and are more likely to be innovative even if the teacher was not overtly planning to teach for creativity. (Jeffrey & Craft, 2004, p. 14) One of their criticisms of the NACCCE is that it overstates the agency of the teacher in an ideal creative pedagogy. Jeffrey and Craft argue in bold caps at the end of their paper that a better distinction would be between creative teaching, which is enacted by the teacher, and creative learning, which is enacted by the learner.

Why was Creativity Important for New Labour? The NACCCE (1999) report quotes Tony Blair, David Blunkett, and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Smith, all expounding the importance of creativity in education. They talk about how crucial creativity is for developing a strong economy, and a well-rounded workforce. The report is a direct response to the Excellence in Schools White Paper, and it argues, A

25 national strategy for creative and cultural education is essential to [the process of unlocking] the potential of every young person. (NACCCE, 1999, p. 5) Creativity, it says, is one of the general functions of education (NACCCE, 1999, p. 6), and should be taught as a valuable educational tool instead of a separate subject. It can facilitate learning and improve achievement, and demands a high level of knowledge and skill. It is also crucial for developing a rounded and progressive understanding of ones own culture, indeed the engine of cultural change is the human capacity for creative thought and action. (NACCCE, 1999, p. 6) Most important is the idea that creativity is a widely applicable concept, and possible in all fields of human intelligence (NACCCE, 1999, p. 43). Just as artists and musicians are creative, so are scientists and mathematicians, and economists and geographers. This push for creativity is based on the idea that academic ability is just one of the indicators of ability and success. Achieving greatness in a creative endeavour is no harder than achieving academic greatness, but the education system places far less importance on it: the NACCCE aims to redress the balance. (NACCCE, 1999, pp. 5 to 16) The writers of the NACCCE (1999) report were sensitive to New Labours political project and its emphasis on the economic imperative of education to perform, and with this in mind they argue the case for creativity and creative learning having a positive impact on the economic prospects of children, and consequently the country (p. 18). With Ken Robinson leading them, the committee argues that the current education system is based on an outdated idea of what education should be, that was created in an old and very different Industrial-era world (NACCCE, 1999, p. 16). England, along with many other countries, is now dependent on the outputs of the knowledge economy, and on intangible assets like knowledge, skills and innovative potential (The

26 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) quoted in Brinkley, 2006, p. 3) are replacing natural resources, physical capital and low skill labour (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as cited in Brinkley, 2006, p. 4). Creativity, flexibility, adaptability, excellent communication skills, and innovative working practices are all requirements of the current and future workforce. The creative industries themselves are growing steadily and will be run by creative individuals, but such skills will also be necessary in more traditional trade-based positions (NACCCE, 1999, p. 19). The first section of the NACCCE report is an attempt to quantify and rationalize the abstract concepts of creativity and learning. It explains in clear terms why the recommendations that the NACCCE make are important. The clearest example of this explains the value of qualifications in the language of economics: Qualifications are a form of currency. Their value is related to the prevailing exchange rate for employment or higher education. Like all currencies, they can inflate when there are too many in relation to the opportunities available. Two or three A-levels once secured a university place: the baseline for many courses is now much higher. A first degree once guaranteed a job: the baseline is now a masters [sic] degree or even a PhD (NACCCE, 1999, p. 21). Couched in these terms, traditional academic qualifications are devalued, and it is not just an old-style education that is essential for the sake of Britains economic prosperity (DfEE, 1997, p. 9), but innovation and creativity also. There is pressure on education to produce children who both succeed academically and fulfil their individual creative potential.

27 What Place did ICT Have in the Creativity Agenda? The creative potential of ICT was an essential component of the NACCCE report. Alongside economic, social, and personal challenges, the relentless advance in the complexity and ubiquity of technology was an important challenge that the education system faced (NACCCE, 1999, p. 27). Access to knowledge and information was changing, and free online sources meant that schools no longer had a monopoly over them. Young people seemed naturally more open and able to exploit the myriad possibilities of ICT. There were also fears that too much time spent on computers would negatively impact childrens social and cultural development (NACCCE, 1999, p. 22). These challenges would be met by emphasizing the practical importance of ICT, and by encouraging children to use them as tools for creative achievement: rather than as ends in themselves (NACCCE, 1999, p. 62). Schools would also have a responsibility to teach children ways of engaging with information and ideas, of making connections, of seeing principles and of relating them to their own experiences and emerging sense of identity (NACCCE, 1999, p. 62), in a world where access to information is cheap and fast. The Creative Learning Booklet (2008) comprises a set of provocation papers exploring the various guises that creative learning can take. In this booklet, ICT and education researcher Avril Loveless unpicks the complex interplay between creativity and ICT in an education context. In agreement with the NACCCE report she emphasizes ICT as a set of digital tools. These tools are creatively useful when employed in the service of active learning processes and creative endeavour (Loveless, 2008, p. 64). Creative ICT practice facilitates the development of ideas, makes connections between separate or related spheres of knowledge, makes meaning through different media, promotes collaboration

28 between peers for the construction of shared knowledge, and allows for easy publication and communication of ideas (Loveless, 2008, p. 65). The major barrier is to ensure that all of this potential is used to service pedagogy and the curriculum (Loveless, 2008, p. 65). As with any tool, it takes time to develop mastery over ICT, to properly grasp its creative potential and limitations, and to recognize that despite the huge range of possibilities, digital technologies are not inherently creative. Indeed Loveless (2008) notes how a lot of teaching with ICT is relatively uncreative, superficial and instrumental (p. 66), as evidenced by Pinders (2006) analysis of the NGfL. Loveless (2008) offers two types of effective creative ICT-based pedagogy: improvisation, and skilful neglect (p. 68). The first relies on proper prior planning and preparation coupled with an open approach to the actual teaching. Like jazz (her metaphor) the lesson becomes a performance, still rooted in a strict practice and conforming to certain unbreakable rules, but open to making improvised conceptual connections and going off script (Loveless, 2008, p. 68). The second, skilful neglect is built around developing strategies for stepping back and offering a safe space for learners to explore, make mistakes, and solve problems. (Labett as cited in Loveless, 2008, p. 68) The idea of harnessing the creative potential of ICT is addressed by Bridget Somekh and Richard Davies (1991). They paraphrase the educationalist Michael Eraut: The insertion of a computer rarely affects either the curriculum or normal classroom practice: its use is assimilated to existing pedagogic assumptions. Computers, of themselves, are not transforming (p. 153). Although written in 1991 when ICT provision in schools was relatively limited (McKinsey & Company, 1997, p. 10) this view in is line with both the NACCCE

29 and Loveless, with all three concluding that the creative use of ICT is only effective if it is backed up with a purposeful pedagogy that allows for that creativity. These theories lie in direct contrast to the rhetoric employed by Tony Blair in the introduction to the NGfL White Paper. He imbues it with the power to transform teaching and learning, claiming that standards, literacy, numeracy, subject knowledge all will be enhanced by the Grid (DfEE, 1997, p. ii). A literature review on ICT and pedagogy published by Becta (2003) concluded that the teachers own pedagogical beliefs and values play an important part in shaping technology-mediated learning opportunities. (p. 3) Likewise a review of ICT and pedagogy amongst Flemish teachers found that teacher beliefs about the practice of teaching are a significant determinant in explaining why teachers adopt computers in the classroom. (Hermans, Tondeur, van Braak, & Valcke, 2008, p. 1506) It is clear therefore that the effectiveness of ICT use will vary depending on the teacher, their personal pedagogy, and their individual attitude towards ICT. A teacher with only basic ICT skills and a more traditional pedagogy is far less likely to use ICT, whereas a teacher with a passion for ICT will be keen to attempt to integrate creative ICT practice wherever it is practically possible and beneficial. In another study, Bridget Somekh (2000) ran an action research project in the late 1980s that introduced teachers to laptops: then a relatively new and rare technology for schools to possess. She maps out the three-stage learning process that they underwent. First they viewed the technology as a teacher, providing access to knowledge and learning materials that would ordinarily be supplied by them. Second they viewed it as a neutral tool, enabling children to perform the kinds of routine writing or drawing tasks that they usually perform,

30 but perhaps quicker or more easily. Finally, many of the teachers tapped into the creative potential of the tech as a cognitive tool, and explored the ways in which it could enable children to take on new tasks that could not have been done in the same way without technology. (Somekh, 2000, p. 28) This higher-level creative engagement with ICT is the last thing to arrive, and in Somekhs case came as a result of a formal action research project. This suggests that reaching the point of using ICT as a creative cognitive tool would be harder still in a busy classroom environment, without the guiding hand of an experienced action researcher like Somekh. Tondeur, Van Braak, and Valcke (2007) echo Somekhs (2000) threestage progression theory in their typology of computer use in primary education. They identify the main uses of computers in (Flemish) primary schools as: the use of computers as an information tool, the use of computers as a learning tool, and learning basic computer skills. (Tondeur, van Braak, & Valcke, 2007, p. 197) They note that these three elements are often seen working in conjunction in a single lesson, with teachers providing basic skills input which in turn allows children to find information autonomously and engage in computerbased learning. Another study by Todd Lubart (2005), focuses specifically on ICTs role in the creative process and develops a typology of four categories: computer as nanny, computer as pen-pal, computer as coach and computer as colleague. (p. 366) Whilst his paper does not refer specifically to ICT in education, the first three categories are applicable to ICT in education and useful to our discussion. Computer as nanny recalls the fostering element of teaching for creativity in the NACCCE (1999) report. Here the computer is designed to facilitate creative action in any way it can, by providing planning tools and the means to express

31 ideas visually or textually or any way that the user wishes. The better the computer is, the more likely the users are to express their creativity without being slowed down by technology. (Lubart, 2005, p. 366) This kind of work happens in schools using IWBs to visualize information and support teachers in their day-to-day practice, in video cameras and audio recorders to allow children to explore ideas in different ways, and in many other creative educational tools that aim to make the act of representing an abstract idea, easier. Computer as pen-pal highlights the importance of communication, or spreading ideas out to a wide audience and responding to their feedback. Here it acts as a facilitator between multiple collaborators, and functions as the central node in a web of creativity. Schools do this through the use of blogs, wikis, collaborative online spreadsheets and text documents, VOIP6 services, and email. Computer as coach provides expert information and training for users, which in turn enables their creativity. This could be seen as a more formal and explicitly instructional tool used to teach specific areas of the curriculum, or could be put to use more widely in informal learning environments.7 Pedagogy varies between teachers, schools, local authorities, initial teacher training (ITT) programmes, subjects, and generations. Some theorists call for small classes and high levels of teacher involvement (Somekh, 2000) and others talk about the benefits of huge super-classes with hundreds of children learning simultaneously (Heppell, 2010). Many proponents of creative ICT practice say that it should be fully embedded across the curriculum, and that its VOIP, or voice over Internet protocol, enables audio communication between devices connected to the Internet. Popular services like Skype and Google Voice are free to use, and also have the facility to make video calls (Wikipedia contributors, 2011). 7 See and for two effective examples of this.

32 use should vary depending on which subject is being taught (Becta, 2003, p. 8). The situation then, is complex. The technology must be in place for teachers to use, that technology must work consistently, teachers must be trained or know how to use it, teachers must also be willing to use it, and there must be a clear focus on effective pedagogy to ensure effective use. A Becta (2004) report on the barriers to the uptake of ICT by teachers reveals the lack of basic competence and confidence in teachers. It suggests that effective training is crucial to properly prepare teachers to use up to date technologies (Becta, 2004). This training should be targeted to the hardware and software that the teachers have available in their school. This report defines a huge range of barriers that teachers face, and concludes that individual technologies and individual subjects must be addressed separately, and that simply pushing for an increased use of ICT and providing funding for new technologies (as the NGfL did) ignores the complexities and barriers that can hamper its effective use (Becta, 2004, p. 24).

Case Studies of Creative ICT Practice The theory behind creative learning in education has been established, and the potential benefits of creative ICT practice and the barriers that exist to its implementation have been looked at. These abstract ideas will be illustrated below through a look at several case studies that reveal creative ICT practice, with the aim of learning more about what actually happens in schools. The case studies cover four different ICTs to highlight the differences between their uses: digital video cameras, computer games, IWBs, and blogs and wikis. Digital video cameras. In October 2008 I co-founded The Big Art People (ND), a small company that runs art projects and digital media workshops in schools and communities

33 countrywide. To date we have coordinated projects in over 100 schools, 60 of which were primary schools. Between January 2009 and July 2011 I ran four projects in three schools that focused exclusively on the use of digital video cameras as creative tools. Three of the projects were funded through the Creative Partnerships Change Schools programme (Creative Partnerships, ND), and one was funded solely by the school. Below I make a brief assessment of the ways in which digital video cameras were used, and discuss the issues that arose around their effective integration into the classroom. It is easy to create something with a digital video camera, you simply press a button to start, press it again to stop, and you have made a film. But the process for effective and meaningful use of the camera is more complex and requires a complex set of competences. Indeed, as Becta (2006) say, creative work in this medium does not proceed from the use of the technology itself but from awareness of the cultural properties of the medium, and from specific pedagogic practice. (p. 48) In using digital video cameras it is crucial to understand what a film is, and how the camera is used as a creative tool. Whether using them to make films on a specific curriculum topic, or filming a script produced in a creative writing session, this creative activity requires the use of ICT as a cognitive tool to approach learning in a new way. Both teachers and children need time to explore this technology, to figure out its limitations and creative possibilities. Returning to the NACCCE (1999) elements of creativity, I would argue that teaching through filmmaking is excellent at getting children to use their imaginations, it is well suited to creativity with a purpose, often leads to the creation of original work, and facilitates work that children and teachers find valuable. The technical requirements of teaching through film are relatively high compared to using word processors or spreadsheets, and

34 demand familiarity with simple video cameras, editing software, and data transferral, in addition to an awareness of the formal properties and aesthetics of film, and good filmmaking practice. These skills are not difficult to acquire but they do require patience and time, and demand a lot of creative input from the user. In my experience this is what teachers struggle with most: having time to put cameras to use for creative teaching, and giving the children the time and freedom to develop their use as a tool for creative learning. Computer games. In the UK computer games are now more popular than films. In 2009 Britons spent 1.2 billion on cinema tickets, DVDs, and Blu-rays, but 1.7 billion on computer games (Wallop, 2009). The creative use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer games in schools has been happening for years, and sits alongside the use of more traditional educational games produced specifically for schools. Studies into their use highlight their major role in increasing motivation and engagement with learning, and in supporting the development of collaboration, communication, thinking and ICT skills. (Futurelab, 2006, p. 7) COTS games have been embraced as a means to better and more creative teaching (as discussed above), and Tim Rylands work with Myst is a perfect example of this. He uses this open, free-roaming adventure game to engage KS2 children in literacy lessons, narrating the action and giving the students tasks whilst he projects images from the game on the classrooms IWB. The children write stories around what they see on the screen, compare the world of the game to literature they have read in class, and use it as a stimulus for creating music, maps, and art (de Freitas, 2006, p. 29). Here Rylands is using ICT as a cognitive tool. Through the medium of the computer game he is covering all four of the NACCCE (1999) elements of creativity. He is using Myst to stimulate the

35 childrens imagination, moving on to develop purposeful activities, which have a clear goal, allowing children to create original work, which is of clear and demonstrable value. Rylands use of a game not originally designed for education highlights the point that along with all types of ICT, games need to be embedded in practice effectively and in accordance with sound pedagogic principles and design. (de Freitas, 2006, p. 58) Interactive whiteboards. Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are now completely ubiquitous in English primary schools. A Becta (2007) survey found that 100% of schools had at least one, and that the average school had eight (p. 35). Of the 60 primary schools that I have worked in since 2008, I cannot recall a single one where IWBs were not an integral part of each classroom. As stated above, simply having and using the technology is relatively easy, but its effective use is far more of a challenge. Somekh (2000) demonstrated that for truly creative use, practitioners have to move from seeing the IWB as teacher, to using it as a neutral tool, and finally to using it as a cognitive tool. Ruth Wood and Jean Ashfield (2008) look at the application of IWBs in creative teaching and learning through a series of case studies. They highlight the crucial difference between teaching creatively and teaching for creativity that was established above, saying that many interesting and creative uses of ICT may ultimately not engage children, but instead serve only to reinforce a traditional transmission-based method (Wood & Ashfield, 2008, p. 93) of teaching. Instead the ICT must be fully integrated, and optimise opportunities to engage with the creative processes related to learning. (Wood & Ashfield, 2008, p. 88) This integration also makes demands of the technology, as it must be flexible enough to be integrated. Wood and Ashfield (2008) criticize IWB software that marginalizes teachers, reducing them to mere

36 intermediaries between the IWB and the children, and praise software that enables teachers to create their own lesson plans and interactive games. The more control that teachers have over the content of the material, the more easily they can control the direction and shape of the lesson. This control makes it easier to integrate the technology into their teaching practice, which could in turn create opportunities for imaginative, purposeful, original, and valuable creativity. Overall, IWBs offer a huge amount of potential for teachers willing to engage with them for creative teaching practice, but they have to be willing. Unlike digital video cameras, which are arguably a more explicitly creative technology, IWBs can easily be used to reinforce teachers established modes of teaching (Wood & Ashfield, 2008, p. 93), facilitating a kind of digital chalk-andtalk approach. But for some teachers IWBs also facilitate and enhance more creative teaching that in turn can facilitate creative learning. Blogs and wikis. Blogs have rapidly gained in popularity since the term was coined in 1997. According to the blog tracker BlogPulse (ND), on Sunday 21st August 2011 there were 168,689,982 blogs live on the Internet; 2,689 of these were indexed in the last 24 hours; and 884,868 posts were posted in the last 24 hours. With free services like Blogger, Wordpress, and Tumblr, blogs are simple to set up, easy to maintain, and free; and services like Creative Blogs allow schools to set up and host safe and secure blogs on their own servers. Following a similarly rapid rise Wikis first came into being in 1995, and are a form of website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor (Wikipedia

37 contributors, 2011).8 Margaret Vass (2008) in her MA in Education dissertation explores the creative use of blogs and wikis in primary schools.9 Starting with a review of some key educational theorists she looks at the ways in which blogs and wikis could impact on teaching practice. There is a strong emphasis on the use of these online platforms as a constructivist pedagogical tool, and the ways in which they can help facilitate personalized learning and social learning. Vass (2008) highlights the potential risks in using this kind of social software specifically in encouraging young children to openly publish their work on the Internet, and be available for anyone to contact. She also touches on the difficulties of evaluating such work, as it doesnt fit into the traditional template of curriculum success criteria. The small-scale study that Vass (2008) ran in a Scottish primary school revealed marked changes in the learning and teaching styles of the children and teachers. She describes the process that participants went through: When the study began, the distinction between the relatively casual online teacher/pupil connections contrasted sharply with the more formal offline classroom relationships. As the study period progressed, however, there was a continuing merging of the two spaces. The new online familiarity led to a greater awareness of pupil personal interests and concerns. This resulted in offline discussions occurring and eventual What you see is what you get (or WYSIWYG) refers to the situation in which the display screen portrays an accurate rendition of the printed page. (OED Online, 2011) 9 It must be noted that this study took place at a primary school in Scotland. The use of blogs and wikis in primary schools is a relatively recent practice and as such there are few published case studies or academic papers covering it. For more informal analyses in English schools see,, and

38 changes to the delivery and content of the familiar classroom curriculum (Vass, 2008, p. 62). This is another indication that the use of ICT underpinned by a clear pedagogy can have an impact on learning. The children were given creative freedom throughout much of the study, to edit and personalize their blogs and wikis in any way they saw fit. They were encouraged to write as much as possible, and used the blogs for reflections, thoughts, short pieces of writings and uploading pictures, and the wikis for more extended pieces of writing, such as imaginative stories. (Vass, 2008, p. 53) This is what Loveless (2008) would call skilful neglect: giving the children a space in which to pursue their own interests and passions, but also to read about the interests and passions of their peers. For Vass (2008) this approach was ultimately useful in the offline formal classroom environment, as she displayed the childrens work on the class IWB and used it as a stimulus for discussion and more traditional teaching. This case study demonstrates that blogs and wikis are an effective way of allowing children to engage in creative practice that is imaginative, purposeful, original, and of value. This limited review of case studies reveals similar findings to the review of literature on creative ICT practice. Teachers can use technology to support effective creative teaching and creative learning, but to do this they must also have the time and freedom to embed the technology into their normal practice. The type of technology used does not seem to matter as much as the ways in which it is used.

39 Engagement With ICT

Digital Natives It is seen by many as the responsibility of teachers to prepare children for a life outside the protective bubble of education, and to equip them with the tools and knowledge they will need to get a job and contribute to society. This was one of the key drivers behind the NACCCE (1999) report, and similarly the use of ICT is increasingly being seen as an essential component of a modern creative education. This section will explore the ways in which children engage with ICT, what kind of world they need to be prepared for, and the implications that this might have on formal education. One of the most widely cited theorists writing about ICT in education is Marc Prensky. He coined the terms digital native and digital immigrant, as models to define the different ways in which young people and adults interact with technology. Prensky (2001) argues that the ubiquity of ICT and its widespread use amongst young people has fundamentally changed the way they think and learn (p. 1). Digital natives were born and grew up using computers, digital technologies, and the Internet. As a result of this they think differently, speak differently, and have a more highly developed and intuitive relationship with technology. In contrast to this, digital immigrants were born and grew up before the ICT revolution of the late-80s, 90s, and 00s. Their customs and routines were developed in an analogue world, and they are characterized as stuffy traditionalists who are reluctant to change and reluctant to accept the potential pedagogical benefits of ICT (Prensky, 2001, p. 2). Prenskys argument is persuasive, and this binary construction is often cited in educational literature, indeed Bayne and Ross (2007) say that it pervades our discussions of

40 the challenges of teaching current generations of students (p. 1). They call it a dangerous opposition (Bayne & Ross, 2007, p. 1) that traps teachers in an impossible paradox, characterizing them as fundamentally incapable of developing the digital skills that digital natives possess, whilst simultaneously demanding that they appropriate these skills to become better teachers. A similarly damning analysis compares Prenskys construction to an academic form of a moral panic (Bennett, Maton, & Kervin, 2008, p. 775), in which unsubstantiated claims take precedence and reduce the chance for good quality, balanced debate. In his comprehensive and balanced critique of Prenskys theory, Neil Selwyn (2009) systematically picks apart the concept of the digital native, concluding that it is at best a discursive device, and at worst a misleading work with a technological determinist agenda (p. 371). The picture is far more complex, with class, socio-economic status, age, sex, and location all affecting access to technology (Selwyn, 2009, p. 372). There is an increasing awareness of a divide between users and non-users, and it is not a generational divide, as Prensky asserts. Selwyn (2009) continues his reassessment of the digital natives debate referring to studies claiming that childrens use of technology is relatively basic, and they are for the most part engaged in the passive consumption of knowledge rather than the active creation of content (p. 372): or a high quantity of digital engagement in favour of high quality engagement. Selwyn (2009) repeatedly states the importance of teachers and public institutions in the learning process. He talks about the necessity of striking a balance between topdown services provided by schools and funded by the government, and bottomup content creation through technology that is fuelled by childrens own passions and interests (Selwyn, 2009, p. 374). Children need to be taught the

41 basic technical skills required for the functional use of computers, but their critical and creative abilities (Selwyn, 2009, p. 374) must also be developed. Above all Selwyn advocates caution when approaching any grand theories that aim to define an entire generation. He concludes by saying that, Adults should not feel threatened by younger generations engagements with digital technologies, any more than young people should feel constrained by the pre-digital structures of older generations (Selwyn, 2009, p. 376). Perhaps a more open and inclusive approach to ICT in the classroom is needed. One that takes into account the varied pedagogical expertise of each teacher, and the unique ICT skills of each child.

The Digital Divide and Digital Literacy Another grand theory affecting engagement with ICT is that of the digital divide, which is commonly used to distinguish between those who have access to new technologies and those who do not. Selwyn (2004) says that this theory has been promoted furiously (p. 343) by educators, policy makers, and ICT companies, but that it is often oversimplified in terms of access to digital technologies. It is this oversimplification that makes the digital divide such a useful tool for mobilising political resources (Grant, 2007, p. 1), and has led to government policy like the NGfL which aimed to close the perceived divide by providing public and subsidized access to ICT for those social groups that are otherwise lacking. (Selwyn, 2004, p. 345) Selwyns (2004) first problem with the concept is that digital or ICT can refer to any number of technologies, each of which is used in different ways at differing costs by different people (p. 346). His second problem is that the idea of access is not as simple as merely having

42 the hardware (Selwyn, 2004, p. 347). There is a hierarchy of access that takes into account levels of provision, levels of proficiency, and the types of hardware that are being used. Just as the use of ICT shouldnt be confused with the effective use of ICT, it is important . . . not to conflate access to ICT with use of ICT (Selwyn, 2004, p. 348). He proposes a more nuanced approach that takes into account Bourdieus theory of economic, social, and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 2008), and adds technological capital spanning the other three. Possession of technological capital requires economic, cultural, and social capital, and the successful adoption of these four forms enables individuals to become producers and distributors of their own cultural products, rather than active or passive consumers of the products of others. (Selwyn, 2004, p. 355) Moving from passive consumption to active production is central to the idea of digital literacy, and essential for the effective use of ICT by children as a tool for creative learning. Hague and Williamsons (2009) report for Futurelab on digital literacy defines it as the ability to read and write digital texts10, possessing the functional skills to use ICT, having the ability to critically evaluate information from digital media sources, using ICT to acquire knowledge, and understanding how technologies and media can shape and influence the ways in which schools subjects can be taught and learnt. (p. 5) Digitally literate teachers and children use a range of technologies in different ways to enhance the ways that traditional subjects are taught, and they view digital literacy as a route to improving teaching practice and learning methods using ICT, and exploring the ways in which ICT is changing the subjects themselves. Bectas Texts are defined as all forms of digital media: text documents, websites, spreadsheets, photographs, films, audio files, games, etc. Reading involves the consumption of these media, and writing involves their creation and manipulation (Hague & Williamson, 2009, p. 5).

43 (2010) review of digital literacy covers similar ground to Futurelab, highlighting the importance of a self-reflective and critical awareness of the affordances of ICT, especially when using the Internet. The report says that not all learners are equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to critically engage with technology and use it effectively (Becta, 2010, p. 5), but that it is the responsibility of schools to teach these. Digital literacy should lie behind all of the creative ICT practice that was demonstrated in the previous section. In the same way that traditional literacy enables people to express themselves, discern between useless and useful information, and operate effectively in the world; so digital literacy enables expression through ICT and digital media, it enables people to assess the validity of the information that they receive through search engines, the TV, and other digital sources, and it allows them to operate effectively in an increasingly digital world (Becta, 2010).

Their Space and the Third Space The NACCCE (1999) report argued that creativity was an essential element of education because it gave children some of the skills that they needed to contribute to the knowledge economy. The DEMOS report Their Space by Green and Hannon (2007) presents a similar economic justification for the importance of digital literacy. It is a comprehensive study of young peoples engagement with digital technologies and the effect that this has on their learning. The conclusions that it draws reaffirm many of the theories that have been looked at up to now, and the recommendations that it makes will prove useful in the final discussion. Like the NACCCE (1999) report, Green and Hannon (2007) are driven by a belief in the importance of equipping children with the skills and tools that they will need to compete in the knowledge

44 economy. Just as creativity was presented by the NACCCE (1999) as one way in which the government could build a stronger, more effective workforce to increase economic stability, so ICT, digital literacy, and the creative potential of these is presented in a similar way here. Modern employers demand creativity, communication, presentation skills and team-building (Green & Hannon, 2007, p. 15). In the future there will be more use of technology and more demand for creativity, hence the pressing need to make provision for both in schools. The report focuses largely on creative learning, on teaching children the skills they need to think creatively and use ICT creatively, but there is also importance placed on creative teaching and how teachers can use ICT to engage and inspire children. As the above discussion of digital literacy showed, children have completely normalised (Green & Hannon, 2007, p. 10) the use of ICT. They use it for communication, to maintain existing social networks, to access information, and to browse online content. Yet their critical use of these tools is often very poor, and it is the responsibility of schools to provide children with these higher-level filtering and processing skills. According to Green and Hannon (2007), government investment in ICT hardware has had very little effect on teaching and learning practice: While this type of investment is important . . . it has not had the impact on teaching and learning that we might expect. The standard model of teaching with 30 children in a classroom with a teacher at the front remains the same. This is because fundamental behaviours have not changed. The potential of new technologies will be realised only if the relationships and behaviours that underpin the school structure also change (p. 54).

45 They argue that schools need to fundamentally change the way that they operate, as evidenced by Ken Robinson (2010a; 2010b), the NACCCE (1999), Avril Loveless (2008), Bridget Somekh (2000), and the case studies above. There needs to be more emphasis on the interests and passions of the children in ICT practice, akin to the idea in the NACCCE (1999) report of encouraging as a key feature of teaching for creativity. Starting with what the children are interested in will better engage them in the learning process, and make the learning more effective. The creativity that emerges from this should be a purposeful creativity (Green & Hannon, 2007, p. 53), following on from the four facets of creativity advocated by the NACCCE (1999): imagination, purpose, originality, and value (p. 30). Green and Hannon (2007) talk about opening up a third space between home and school, or informal and formal learning environments; about bridging the gap between what children learn at home, through games, online, on social media, and on mobile phones, and what they learn at school (p. 60). Daly, Pachler, and Pelletier (2009) in their literature review on CPD in ICT, make a similar point to this: ICT CPD, they say, needs to involve recognizing the permeable boundaries between school and the rest of the world (p. 81). Teachers should look at extending formal learning outside of the classroom, and to welcoming informal learning into the classroom.11 Green and Hannon (2007) say that access to knowledge has fundamentally changed, and the skills of memorizing and recalling which are so This idea of extending formal learning outside of the classroom is potentially complicated by concerns about e-safety. A full assessment of this idea is outside the scope of this dissertation, but it concerns the ways in which children are vulnerable and may expose themselves to danger (Becta, 2005, p. 4) on the Internet. Many schools employ a policy of restriction, blocking childrens access to certain sites. But there is an increasing emphasis on the need to teach children how to avoid these dangers, as part of a wider drive towards digital literacy. (Becta, 2005)

46 integral to the assessment system as it stands today will be considered far less relevant for the employee of the future. (p. 65) Assessment, learning, and teaching methods need to change in line with current professional working practices, and teacher training and CPD needs to change to incorporate more creative teaching through ICT, which can in turn encourage creative learning in children. Engagement with information and the manipulation of that information has also changed. In his recent TED Talk, mathematician Conrad Wolfram (2010) looked at computers in maths education. The conclusions that he draws easily translate across to other school subjects. He says that maths education focuses disproportionately on computation, on the routine mechanical element of maths. When in fact maths is really about posing questions, taking problems from the real world and abstracting them into mathematical formulations, doing computations to solve these formulations, then making the results concrete by bringing them back into the real world. The computation is the laborious part, and also the part that computers do better than any human. Yet in math [sic] education, were spending about perhaps 80% of the time teaching people to do step three by hand. (Wolfram, 2010) He says that children should be taught about the real world applications for maths, and the essential part it plays in the fields of geology, engineering, biology, computing, sociology, design, etc. This is the way that schools and teachers should approach the use of ICT. It enables things to be done faster, better, easier, with more people, across larger distances, in less time, all relatively easily. Making a similar point, Bridget Somekh (2000) says that ICT allows teachers to shift the balance of students' activities from laborious tasks to higher level tasks (p. 29). Used in this way ICT can facilitate more interesting and creative enquiries, allow children to deal with more

47 complex subjects at an earlier stage, and prepare them for the increasingly complex demands of the future. Summation In the conclusion to Their Space Green and Hannon (2007) neatly encapsulate the relationship between ICT, teaching practice, and government policy: Although this report has looked at some exemplary schools working in innovative ways, they are doing so despite the system. Part of the response to address this is undoubtedly about developing the national curriculum to give more emphasis to creativity and innovation, but curriculum and assessment are only one part of the puzzlewe need a strong national agenda that supports and enables schools to make change on their own terms (pp. 63 & 64). Like Ken Robinson (2010a; 2010b), they argue for a radical change in public policy that will facilitate a change in teaching and learning practice. Creative ICT practice will be effectively used and integrated when teachers and schools are given the freedom to explore the ways in which it can impact and enhance their pedagogy.

48 ICT and Education After New Labour

New Labours Legacy In New Labours final year in office there were two reports released reviewing the primary National Curriculum. First was the Rose Review, which drew many of its recommendations from models of best practice observed by former Director of Ofsted Jim Rose and his team. It proposed a move from a subject-based approach to an emphasis on six key areas of learning, with literacy, numeracy, and ICT as cross-curricular subjects forming the curriculums core (Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), 2009). Becta was to play an important role in its implementation, providing support to the DCSF, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), and individual LEAs, schools, and teachers on how to better integrate effective ICT practices (DCSF, 2009). Accordingly, Bectas (2009a) contribution to the Rose Review consultation follows a familiar path, arguing that basic minimum standards of ICT competence are essential in preparing children for an unpredictable and increasingly technologically advanced world. They state, By the end of Key Stage 2 learners should . . . be independent and confident users of technology for learning. (Becta, 2009a, p. 4) They stress the important balance that needs to be struck between rigorously developing universal digital literacy and the need to give teachers and institutions appropriate autonomy and flexibility. (Becta, 2009a, p. 10) The curriculum, they say, has to make room for the new, the unexpected, and the creative. (Becta, 2009a, p. 7) ICT must be used appropriately and backed up with a clear pedagogical purpose. There must be an emphasis on personalized and collaborative learning, alongside a

49 standardized set of baseline competences that all children must leave school with. The second key document was the Children, Schools and Families Committees (CSFC) report on the National Curriculum (2009), which contextualized the current curriculum in terms of its 20-year history and made recommendations for its future. Its overarching message was that the National Curriculum should prescribe only the minimum entitlement for each child, and that the current system is unnecessarily over prescriptive and takes up most of teachers available teaching time (CSFC, 2009, p. 3). Marc Prensky (2011) takes up this point in his essay on regressive educational reform. He is writing in a USA educational context, but his points are just as applicable to the UK. Our curricula, he says are overstuffed, the new curriculum must begin with deletion. (Prensky, 2011, p. 8) Just as Conrad Wolfram (2010) called for a complete reassessment of maths education, so Prensky (2011) calls for a rethink of the entire education system. Providing children with a broad and balanced education is absolutely the right thing to do, but breadth and balance should be defined in individual terms, as a product of each learners own particular interests. Neither Prensky nor Wolfram are denying the validity of one area of study over another, they are pointing out that that [forcing] the entire population to learn a subject like ancient Greek . . . isnt warranted (Wolfram, 2010), that certain subjects belong on the reference shelf, . . . for retrieval only when and if needed by particular students. (Prensky, 2011, p. 8) The CSFC (2009) recommend that just half of the school day be given over to the National Curriculum. They also wanted to further professionalize the role of teachers, giving them more freedom to harness their professional expertise, and

50 ensuring that teacher training is focused less on monitoring and compliance and more on creating a better generation of educators (CSFC, 2009, p. 4). New Labour approved the recommendations of the Rose Review and laid plans to roll out a new primary curriculum in September 2011 as part of the 2010 Children, Schools and Families Bill (Baker, 2010). But the Bill went through without the proposed curriculum reforms due to vehement opposition from the Conservative party; and on coming into power in May 2010 the Conservatives (forming part of the Coalition government) abandoned the recommendations of the Rose Review altogether, instigating their own review of the National Curriculum (Baker, 2010).12

The Coalitions Education Policy Given that the Coalition is only 15 months old it is relatively early to attempt a comprehensive assessment of its political project. However, Kerr, Byrne and Foster (2011) argue that it represents a synthesis between the neoliberal ideals of Thatcherism and the Third Way politics of New Labour. They broadly characterize the Coalition as pursuing policies that aim to decrease the size of central government, empower the individual, and modernize public services (Kerr, Byrne, & Foster, 2011, p. 199). They also see a general trend towards a de-politicization of certain areas of the public sector, with powers being devolved down from central government to arms-length bodies and private companies, and a greater emphasis being placed on the self-regulation of society (Kerr, Byrne, & Foster, 2011, p. 201).

For clarity, and in line with traditional naming conventions the Coalition review of the National Curriculum will be referred to as the Oates Review, after the chair of the committee, Tim Oates.

51 Just as it was for New Labour, education is a high priority for the Coalition; and just as it did with New Labour, the Coalitions education policy reflects its wider political project. The rebranded Department for Education (DfE) under the leadership of Michael Gove aims to continue the work of New Labour in some areas, and radically change policy in others. New Labours marketized conception of education emphasized the importance of giving children the skills and knowledge to compete in a global knowledge-based economy. Gove retains this global view but reframes the argument to focus on the perceived differences between education systems. It is not enough for England to simply have a good education system; it must be one of the best in the world. Cameron and Clegg say in the foreword to the first DfE (2010) White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, that what really matters is how were doing compared with our international competitors. (p. 3). Despite the fact that GCSE pass rates rose consistently for 15 years under New Labour (Vasagar, 2011), Gove and the Coalition leadership continually cite worrying findings from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, claiming that the UK plummeted from fourth to sixteenth place in science, and from eighth to twenty-eighth in mathematics13 (DfE, 2011c) between 2000 and 2009. Gove

Developed by the OECD, PISA is an internationally standardised assessment that was jointly developed by participating economies and administered to 15year-olds in schools. (OECD, ND) The use of PISA rankings to justify public policy has been widely criticized (Heppell, ND). Such rankings are generally quoted without due attention being paid to their statistical significance, and they are often simply quoted wrong. English results from 2006 and 2009 are the only ones that meet the OECDs response-rate standards. Based on the most reliable figures and taking statistical significance into account, instead of falling from 4th to 16th place in science, England actually fell from 7th to 10th place; and in mathematics, instead of falling from 8th to 28th place, England fell from 18th to 20th place. In addition to this, an important reason for the fall in science and mathematics was that two of the top countries in 2009 did not participate in 2006. In contrast to the Coalitions claims, the OECD concluded that Englands

52 sees an improvement in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields as crucial to Englands international success. In a talk to the Royal Academy he said that without a radical improvement and reform in STEM education the grim arithmetic of globalisation will leave us all poorer. (DfE, 2011c) The advancement of other nations and the relative decline of our own innovative output demands curriculum reform, reform of testing, improved and modernized teaching methods, and a better ecosystem for disseminating ideas and best practice through the education system (DfE, 2011c). Accountability is another similarity between New Labour and the Coalition education agendas. Gove advocates the use of performance tables, agreeing with New Labour that they are an effective way to monitor an individual schools progress, and the performance of that school in relation to others. However, he also wants to change the kind of data that go into these tables, making sure that the results count; narrow the scope of Ofsted inspections to focus on the quality of teaching; and make schools more transparent by publishing financial information in the public domain (DfE, 2010, pp. 12-13). Goves plan for education aims to fix some of the mistakes that New Labour made. He wants to re-professionalize the role of teachers, giving them the opportunity to learn from each other and develop their own practice without the burden of so much bureaucracy (DfE, 2011b). He has already removed the non-statutory elements of the National Curriculum from the DfE website, and has commissioned the Oates Review with the aim of creating a new slimmed down (DfE, 2011b) National Curriculum. This new National Curriculum will scores have been stable (Bradshaw, Ager, Burge, & Wheater, 2009; Bradshaw, Sturman, Vappula, Ager, & Wheater, 2006).

53 demand less of teachers time whilst maintaining a minimum standard of attainment that all children will be expected to achieve. Gove has proposed no instrumental and costly schemes like the NGfL or NOF as yet. In fact, as well as abandoning the recommendations of the Rose Review the government reduced the amount of quangos and funded programmes, abolishing Becta (DfE, 2011d), and cutting all of the funding for the Creative Partnerships (2010) programme. Instead, having learnt systematically from the most effective and fastest improving school systems in the world (DfE, 2010, p. 15) he has given all schools the opportunity to become Academies, given parents and teachers the chance to set up Free Schools, and introduced the English Baccalaureate (EBac) performance measure to monitor GCSE performance in a narrow range of subjects (DfE, 2010).

The Coalitions ICT Policy in Education In contrast to the rhetoric employed by New Labour on the importance of creativity and ICT in education there is no mention of either in the DfE (2010) White Paper. Whilst freeing teachers from the tyranny of an overstuffed National Curriculum, Gove is simultaneously pursuing an education policy that emphasizes traditional academic achievement. He believes that making it to Oxbridge is, and should be the ultimate goal of every student (DfE, 2010, p. 6). In short, the Coalitions vision for ICT and creativity in schools is relatively unknown. Until the Oates Review publishes its first draft programmes of study later this year there will be no indication of what the statutory requirements for ICT will be, and what importance it will place on creative teaching and creative learning. Furthermore, the new National Curriculum will not become a compulsory requirement until September 2014, leaving teachers with New

54 Labours old system for another three years (DfE, 2011a). The current situation is clearly complex, and the position of ICT, creativity, and creative ICT practice in education from a policy perspective is uncertain.

55 Conclusion

Summation New Labours education policies formed an integral part of their wider political project, which focused on modernization and economic prosperity in a global marketplace. The aim was to redesign the education system so that it produced an academically qualified, ICT literate, highly skilled, and creative workforce. This led to a series of instrumental policy initiatives, like the NGfL and NOF, which provided new technologies and training to improve teaching practice and facilitate new and exciting ways of delivering the National Curriculum. However, under New Labours marketized education system there were increasingly larger demands placed on targets and standards, which led to a de-professionalization of the role of the teacher, and a marginalization of creativity. Restricted by the burdens of the National Curriculum many teachers did not have the time or support to explore the ways in which creative ICT practice could be integrated into their teaching. After 13 years of New Labour, this generation of teachers and children makes perfunctory and unspectacular (Selwyn, Potter, & Cranmer, 2009, p. 928) use of ICT in school. Creative ICT practice is demonstrably good when underpinned by a clear and effective pedagogy. Its use in creative teaching can engage children, inspire teachers, and transform learning. Its use in creative learning can allow children to pursue their own interests in a formal learning environment, and facilitate collaboration and cooperation. Schools have a responsibility to ensure that children have a basic grasp of ICT. But most children already have, or have little difficulty in learning, these skills. Schools need to be allowed to concentrate on developing digital literacy in children, because the critical and creative abilities

56 that they will learn through this will be useful no matter what types of ICT they encounter in the future. It is the economic benefits of creativity and ICT that were important to New Labour, and that recur in policy documents, reports, and articles. There is recognition that as more people become better qualified and academic qualifications become devalued, employers demand high levels of creativity and innovation in graduates, and that it is ICT that will help to meet that demand. Ken Robinson (2010a; 2010b) says that we need a paradigm shift in education. He wants to move past prescriptive curricula, linear progression, and standardization, to focus on developing creative teachers and bright children. He wants to harness the creative potential of every child, and reimagine schools as spaces where children are encouraged to pursue their interests under the guidance of skilled educational professionals. As stated in the introduction these theories are radical and idealistic, and even if Robinson is right, it is highly unlikely that such a paradigm shift is going to take place under the Coalition government. Indeed the future of creative ICT practice in education is unsure, with little mention of it in the latest policy documents and a general trend towards favouring more traditional academic subjects. There is a continuing need for research and development into the creative potential of ICT, and how it can improve teaching and learning. The NGfL and NOF demonstrated the relative failure of system-wide top-down policy, and there is compelling evidence that individuated, bottom-up initiatives can be very effective.14 With this in mind, the final paragraphs will pose several questions,

Two notable emergent bottom-up initiatives are TeachMeet and #ukedchat. The former is the term used for a type of informal, teacher-organized conference that takes place in schools across the country, aiming to get teachers sharing

57 and identify the areas that require further research and more in-depth examination.

Questions for Future Study What do children need to know? There clearly needs to be a basic minimum level of ICT provision in schools, and children need to leave the education system with a basic set of competences. But the benchmarks for competency are changing and the cumbersome National Curriculum simply cant keep up with the speed of technological change. What are the universal skills that children should learn and develop that will be widely applicable and useful for their future development as professionals, citizens, and creative people? What effect will Coalition policy have on creative ICT practice in the education system? The slimmed-down curriculum will hopefully give teachers who are interested in ICT the chance to develop innovative and creative teaching methods, and to focus more on the pedagogy underpinning them. Free Schools and Academies will also give greater freedoms to head teachers and teachers, again allowing them to pursue more creative curricula that embed ICT practice across all subjects. A re-professionalization of teaching will hopefully provide a structure for a more personalized development of pedagogy, and facilitate the dissemination of best practice throughout formal and informal networks of schools and teachers. Gove says that the DfE can enable innovations in education if it doesnt seek to micromanage them (DfE, 2011). How can teachers work with the changes in the education system to address the issues ideas with teachers (TeachMeet, ND). The latter is a weekly, hour-long, open, Twitter-based CPD discussion (#ukedchat, ND).

58 that have been raised in this dissertation? How can they make it more interesting, more engaging, more open and collaborative, and less linear? What will drive teachers to improve their ICT practice now that Becta has been abolished? How can the benefits of creative ICT practice and creativity be proven? If the government continues to emphasize the economic and vocational imperatives of education, then proponents of ICT and creativity should aim to prove how they can contribute to economic prosperity, instead of rejecting this marketized view of education outright. The beguiling appeal of standardized testing is that it reduces the totality of each childs knowledge, skills, experience, and understanding to a series of quantitative data points. It produces clear indications of improvement or decline that can be used at local, regional, national, and international levels. What needs to be measured to show the impacts of creative ICT practice? How can such practice be shown to be of equal or greater value to the economy than standardized testing and examinations?

Final Remarks I will end with two key conclusions that the work on this dissertation has led me to, and that I think are important to bear in mind for any future investigation. First is that the education system, and the idea of education is hugely complex. It is a mistake to reduce this complexity down and view education as a thing that can be fixed, through a change of policy, or a new technology, or any single measure. Second is that the process of change is incremental and iterative. Ken Robinson says that we need a revolution in education and not evolution

59 (Robinson, 2010a). I would argue that we need to stop talking about revolution, and concentrate on better evolution. There is no Platonic Form of education that we should seek to replicate. New policies build on old policies, pedagogies gradually change, and the demands placed on individuals by society shift over time. I think that we need to take practical steps to bring about incremental change to make education as good as it can be now; and I think that the creative use of ICT is just one of the tools we should employ in doing that.

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