UK professor urges changes to education system in an internet age

A UK professor has urged educators at the World Education Summit in Dubai to allow students access to the internet during exams.

DUBAI // A UK professor has urged educators at the World Education Summit in Dubai to allow students access to the internet during exams.

Dr Sugata Mitra, professor at Newcastle University said the internet is not just a tool of learning, but also a subject to be studied in itself, according to state news agency, Wam.

Asking for a reappraisal of the current system of teaching Dr Mitra said: “The future of pedagogy has got to allow spontaneous order as a new method in children’s education in the presence of the internet. Internet must permeate the education system.”

He said in the face of improving technology, accommodations must be made in the education system.

“Comprehension, communications and computation are the new basics,” said the 2013 US$1 million [Dh3.6m] TED Prize winner for further research on non-formal, minimally invasive education. “It is irrelevant to provide direct factual information manually. [And] the role of memory in education does not need emphasis devices are playing that role. The brain retains what it wants to retain,” he said.

On the future of curricula, Dr Mitra pointed out that the current ones are replete with obsolete material. He proposed that all irrelevant knowledge and skills be removed.

“The internet must be a subject to be taught. Networks, Chaos Theory and Emergent Phenomena should also be taught,” he said, adding it was important for students to deal with the questions, not the answers.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: February 9, 2016 04:00 AM

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