Children under 11 will be taught how to use the social media such as Facebook and Twitter, under plans for a more technology focused primary school curriculum.
Having seen a leaked draft of the new primary school curriculum, The Guardian has reported that five- to 11-year-olds will soon learn how to "develop an understanding" of different ways to communicate online in schools.
The proposals are contained in draft copies of a new curriculum following a review carried out by Sir Jim Rose, former director of inspections at Ofsted.
The new curriculum represents the biggest overhaul in primary school education in 20 years.
Alongside social media skills, children will be taught keyboard skills, how to use reference websites such Wikipedia and how to employ spell-checkers. In maths, children will be expected to use spread sheets to prepare budgets and manage their money.
The review was commissioned amid fears existing timetables were too "cluttered".
It proposes slashing traditional subjects into six broad "areas of learning". Teachers will get more power to dictate lessons and modern technology will form a backbone to the entire curriculum.
The six themes are:
1. Understanding English, communication and languages
2. Mathematical understanding
3. Scientific and technological understanding
4. Human, social and environmental understanding
5. Understanding physical health and well-being
6. Understanding the arts and design.
Recent research from ntl:Telewest Business revealed that children are keen to use the internet to support their studies at school and when asked what Web 2.0 tools would be useful in the classroom:
· 44 per cent stated Wikipedia
· 35 per cent chose instant messaging
· 34 per cent said YouTube
However, less than a fifth of teachers use Wikipedia as a resource in classrooms and only five per cent used YouTube. Even general internet information sites only scored 14 per cent of teachers’ votes, despite the fact that almost a third felt the internet had added the most value to education.
Stephen Beynon, MD, ntl:Telewest Business, said: “By introducing Web 2.0 tools into the primary school curriculum, an attempt is being made to close the chasm that has developed between the tools that pupils want to see in the classroom and what teachers are actually using.
“However, the key to using Web 2.0 tools effectively is having the right infrastructure to deliver them. It is only a matter of time before social networking takes on a more extensive role in the classroom, so schools and colleges must provide sufficient bandwidth for media-rich applications.”
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