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Nesta’s ‘Decoding learning’ research report

This post was written by Imogen Casebourne and first appeared on the Epic blog on 19th November 2012.

decoding learning NestaI was excited to attend the launch of the Nesta commissioned research report on digital education on the afternoon of November 15th. Nesta is a UK charity that is involved in research and thinking. The report, entitled in full ‘Decoding Learning: The Proof, Promise and Potential of Digital Education’, talks about what works in learning and why, as well as what is still missing. It advocates close collaboration among teachers, creators of educational software and researchers if we are to achieve the best learning outcomes.

This is something that we strongly agree with at Epic. Our award-winning GCSE maths revision apps, created in collaboration with Harper Collins, were the result of close collaboration among a leading researcher in maths teaching and learning, practicing teachers and Epic’s designers and developers, with frequent user testing in schools during the development process. The result was a set of four apps which have had over 30,000 downloads in total and have been very positively reviewed on the app store. They are also linked to teaching with technology in schools, with video assets illustrating key points that are also available via interactive whiteboards.

The Nesta research, led by Professor Rose Luckin of London Knowledge lab, identifies eight key learning themes:  from experts, from others, through making, through exploring, through inquiry, through practicing, from assessment and in and across settings.

The report then sets out to identify and discuss evidence of learning and innovation in each of these learning themes and to consider how the themes can be linked by technology to provide a rich learning experience.

The conclusion is that it is essential to put learners first (something that we believe in strongly at Epic) and that there is a ‘growing body of invaluable evidence that demonstrates how technology can be used effectively to support learning’. They also found ‘enormous potential for further innovation in digital education’, which is another finding that Epic seconds.

Access the full Nesta report or download the GCSE maths revision apps from the app store.