The government’s Learning and Skills Council has set an IT budget just short of £60m to improve technology in post-16 year old education – three times last year's budget.
The LSC has allocated £59.8m to IT, as the government tries to prove its commitment to “improve learner experience” through technology. Since 2001, the LSC has invested a total of £260m in learning technology and its deployment.
Under the scheme, the LSC will procure new technology, as well as maintaining connections to the JANET educational computer network. It will also financially support work based learning providers that embed technology in their programmes.
Remote access will be a key part of the scheme, with over a third of students already accessing features from remote learning platforms. The LSC therefore plans to help educational institutions acquire new mobile technology including PDAs and MP3 players.
Research by the LSC claims to highlight that “using technology can improve the engagement, retention and achievement” of over-16s in education. Jon Gamble, director for adults and lifelong learning at the LSC, said that investment in learning technology would also improve the “employability” of students.
In January, LSC signed a major contract with LogicaCMG for infrastructure and services to underpin the British education system’s shared services initiative known as MIAP (Managing Information across Partners).