Headlines: September 5th, 2008

Researchers have found that teachers are divided over the merits of using Web 2.0 applications, such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Wikipedia in the classroom. The study commissioned by communications provider ntl:Telewest Business shows that half of them feel the applications add value to education while the other half see them as a distraction with no academic benefits.

The researchers said, however, that the split among teachers was in opposition to the views of parent, two thirds of whom think Web 2.0 tools are useful in engaging and teaching their children. They believe the systems can be used in a variety of ways such as using YouTube to watch videos from across the world in geography lessons or Facebook to collaborate with other students.

The research also found a fifth of teachers felt they did not know enough about the available applications to use them in lessons and a quarter were worried about the security implications and student privacy. Meanwhile, more than half of 13-18 year olds use YouTube in their spare time and more than four in ten said Wikipedia would be useful at school although only 20 per cent of teachers use it as a classroom resource.