Becta e-maturity project

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Becta e-maturity project
Briefing for NATE ICT Committee, October 2006
See documents online here: http://www.englishandict.co.uk/nate_ict/index.html
Earlier in year Becta invited think pieces from government agencies, QCA, national strategies, etc
(but not SAs and not Subject Strategies). Becta then reviewed this.
Current position
See the presentation that Richard Hammond from Becta went through (online as ‘The E-Mature
Learner’, a PDF version of the PowerPoint)
The 4 transformational themes for the e-strategy that Becta is responsible for:

knowledge architecture

personalised content

strategic technologies

e-maturity – to enable individuals to maximise their potential
‘To exploit the power of new technology to improve educational outcomes’
Discussion points from RH’s presentation and feedback from Subject Associations:

Think about process of learning and not just outcomes – how to think about ‘beginning my
own learning’, etc.

Can we just talk about ‘maturity of learning’ and not involve the ‘e’ aspect?

Or is it about producing e-ffective learners?

We need to define:

where ICT is essential because there’s no other way to achieve that result (at least, not in
schools)

where it’s just an alternative
TR showed two NATE slides (taken from the strategic documents we worked on last year). These
summarised our position as key elements (or approaches, attitudes, etc) and outcomes:
E-mature learners: key elements:

Awareness

Communication

Collaboration and dedication

Successful appropriation of learning

Skills and abilities
E-mature learners: key outputs

Confidence

Competence

Purpose

Autonomy

Independence

Ambition and motivation

Appetite for learning

Creativity
The feeling was that we need to decide on the mature learner and then see what is added when
include the ‘e’ bit. What changes and what remains the same?
Becta’s discussions with agencies identified these aspects:

skills and capabilities

knowledge and understanding

personal characteristics
Some other questions:

How does e-maturity depend on literacy and numeracy?

Does e-confidence relate to e-maturity?

How does e-confidence relate to confidence?

Is it dependent on environment? Eg in different schools, areas of country, subjects, etc? The
simple answer is yes.

Are there aspects of the subject that can’t be taught without ICT? Aspects of English?
(would we teach media now without ICT, let along ‘digital literacy’?)

Is e-maturity stage-related? What are those stages? Becta’s thoughts on this follow:
A model of stage in e-maturity
Becta themselves were not altogether happy about these titles, but here they are:

Exploratory

Developing collaborative learner

Confident collaborative learner

Independent learner
Janice Staines (Becta) also referred to QCA’s Futures slides (also online, see above) – all very
worthy sentiments but quite vague in their statements (see QCA futures on website)
Group discussions
There is a core set of transferable skills that apply across subjects – eg making informed choices
Non-linear models are needed – we need a dynamic model – see Bruner
Role of the teacher is important
Paul H’s model (from RE Today) was a ‘spiral Venn’:

Communication

Capability

Confidence
‘Learning hasn’t changed with the introduction of technology’
E-mature learner is – from Group A

Subversive

Influential

Empowering

Has responsibility
So an e-mature learner is a teacher.
Digital natives and digital immigrants – are teachers always immigrants here?
It’s the interdependent learner – ie not independent, knows when to seek help, etc
Where does all this get us – is there anything useful to be gained from adding the ‘e’ to ‘mature’?
Do we start from a generic point of view and then bring in ‘subjectness’ – or vice-versa?
The next stage – a role for Subject Associations
Give Becta feedback in terms of English, covering the following topics:
[I guess the response to some of these could be long essays and to others, merely a word, but it
would be good to have a succinct response to each, especially as we don’t have all year, only till 30
October]

Is an e-mature learner an effective learner in a technological environment?

What different perspectives need to be considered when describing e-maturity in learning?
Cognitive, emotional, behavioural, social?

What are the personal characteristics/skills & abilities/knowledge & understanding of an emature learner? What are the behaviours of an e-mature learner?

(How) does e-maturity in learning relate to context? Can learners be at (demonstrate)
different levels of maturity in different environments? Is e-maturity in learning context
dependent or context-independent?

How does e-maturity in learning develop? Is e-maturity progressive and age-related?

How much does e-maturity in learning depend on/relate to ICT capability?

(How) should an e-maturity model for learning be constructed?

(How) does e-maturity depend on interaction (with peers, practitioners, institutions…)?
In addition, Becta wants us to consider the following. They ask that we use their categories as
headings for your responses:

The e-mature learner model
Use the PowerPoint presentation (The E-Mature Learner’, online) and whether this can be
applied to English.

Unique aspects of the subject English
Can we identify areas of our subject and ICT learning that are unique (or almost unique) to
that subject? For example GIS systems in Geography and History, data logging in science
and maths and control technology in ICT.

Exemplification
Can we exemplify points that we raise with actual or theoretical examples?

Assessing e-maturity
I quote Becta’s words here: ‘Establishing ways of assessing e-maturity against the ‘best in
show’ so that snap shots of e-maturity can be applied at all ages and levels and not just
plotted on a continuum’.

Amendments or alternative models
‘If you are really struggling to make your subject fit with this model, can you suggest any
amendments or alternatives (for example by padding out the 3Cs Venn Diagram model:
Communication, Capability, Confidence) and explain what it is about the model that causes
you difficulty.’
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