Another expert panel? Let’s ask the real experts about ed tech apps

The expert panel set up to look at tablets and apps for children under five is all very worthy and traditional, says Tony Parkin. But it’s a modern problem that needs a modern solution, such as crowd-sourcing classroom expertise.So the Department for Education has decided to set up an expert panel to identify high-quality educational tablet or smartphone applications, aimed at children in the early years. Hopefully this marks an end to the era of Goveian “we have had enough of experts” thinking that seems to have been prevalent at the department for the past decade.You might think that I am uncharacteristically over-optimistic, but I would point to the new Centre for Excellence for Languages at York University, and the new funding directed towards sharing expertise in computing or, rather, computer science. OK, both are seen by education experts in those fields as inadequate responses, and not as good as what we had before, but at least they are moves in the right direction.

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