IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE Director Becky Francis speaks at Global Education and Skills Forum

20 March 2018

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) Director Professor Becky Francis has chaired a debate on whether Googling information is making people less intelligent at the Global Education & Skills Forum (GESF).

Global Education & Skills Forum 2018. Image: Global Education & Skills Forum

The event explored the rise of the internet and smart technology as well as what having a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips means for education.

Topics within the debate examined whether today's technology is making the traditional teaching of facts and figures obsolete and whether society's increasing dependence on digital knowledge is eroding people's ability to think for themselves.

Becky Francis. Image: Global Education & Skills Forum

Carla Aerts, Director of Futures at the IOE, also presented her new paper in a lecture at the conference. Ms Aerts argued that EdTech has huge potential for improving teaching and learning but needs to be more focused on learner design, pedagogy, and the importance of context.

As well as this, Carla Aerts also contributed to a talk on exploring the potential of EdTech to revolutionise what learning looks like in the classroom - and whether the sector has yet to reach its true potential.

Carla Aerts debating. Image: Global Education & Skills Forum

These sessions were part of over one hundred events at the GESF, which seeks to address the challenges of education, equity and employment for all. This year's theme was 'How do we prepare young people for the world of 2030 and beyond?'

Attended by over 2000 delegates, the event's speakers included former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Olympic champion Mo Farah, former Chancellor George Osbourne and Academy Award winner Charlize Theron.

The winner of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize was also announced at the conference, with IOE alumna Andria Zafirakou (PGCE Art and Design) crowned world's best teacher.

Now in its sixth year, the Global Education & Skills Forum brings together world leaders from the public, private and social sectors to share, debate and shape new ways for education to transform the world.

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is one of the Forum's partners, which also includes TES, CBI and UNESCO.

Media contact

Henry Killworth, UCL Media Relations
+44 (0) 20 7679 5296