The United Kingdom: substantial resources and coordinated actions
Policy on education and information and communication technology (ICT) has been one of the major priorities in Britain for many years. The establishment of the National Grid for Learning (NGfL), a nationalscale platform for education and training, has been a major strategic focus. After decentralisation, which conferred greater autonomy, the nations have continued to develop specific regional strategies in the field of ICT, following the NGfL model and sharing common goals: improving quality, promoting integration, and personalising learning.
Hardware, infrastructure, connectivity and content have improved significantly in the United Kingdom and increasing numbers of teachers make use of ICT. However, despite considerable investment and increased use, the integration and systematic transformation of learning models remain difficult. This is also true of virtual learning platforms. The number of schools using these platforms grows every year, but their use within schools and among schools remains uneven. As with ICT as a whole, it is clear that supply is a necessary but not sufficient factor in adoption and that several other factors related to governance, supply, training, support, and the nature of the curriculum have to be considered.
The GLOW platform, developed in Scotland and open to all Scottish schools, is a particularly interesting example to analyse in terms of mode of governance and the success factors that have led to widespread use by its target audiences.