Educational Policy Analysis Debates and New Learning Technologies in England

Educational Policy Analysis Debates and New Learning Technologies in England

Elfneh Udessa Bariso (Action for Health, Education and Development (AHEAD), UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch230
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Governments around the world have acknowledged the necessity to plan strategically to exploit the social, economic and personal benefits of new technologies within a context of global competitiveness and continuous change. Selwyn (2011, p. 55) observes that following the publication of the Clinton-Gore administration’s National Information Infrastructure in 1993, governments across the globe passed legislation to augment technological resources – hardware, software, network and training support. The UK National Grid for Learning, German Schulen ans Netz, and the Singaporean ICT Masterplan are examples of early policies drives. He summarises:

...[C]ountries such as the UK and US saw the launch and re-launch of often indistinguishable national educational technology policies and local initiatives throughout 1980s... [From the mid 1990s] onwards the field of educational technology [...] has attracted the sustained attention of policy-makers, figuring ever more prominently in the education policy agendas of countries around the world.

Selwyn (2011) concludes that now nearly every country in the world has made and implemented an educational technology policy.

The last UK Labour Government took various separate policy initiatives such as ILTSFE on new technology in education, particularly FE. From around year 2005, the Government attempted to coordinate its policy by linking different education, ICT and social reform policies to improve educational access, quality and widen participation to those social groups traditionally excluded from learning. The Government invested hugely in these initiatives. The current analysis concentrates on ILTSFE for its historical significance.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Educational Policy: An overarching plan of action formulated to attain a set of educational objectives.

Policy Cycle Model: A theoretical framework that examines the extent to which the state (policymakers) and other policy actors such as implementers can determine the policy process and contents in different contexts of influence.

Policy Spiral Model: An alternative theoretical model to the “policy cycle.” This model views the policy process as a continuum and interrogates it from multiple perspectives, e.g. organisational, political etc. points of view at macro and meso/micro levels.

E-Learning: Use of computers and electronic devices to acquire skills and or knowledge.

Information and Communication/Learning Technologies (ICT): Various technologies including hardware and software devices used for communication and/or learning.

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