Twitter is put on new U.K. primary school curriculum

Children in the United Kingdom who are ages 5 to 11 will be taught how to use the social networking web site Twitter, as well as blogs, webcams, and podcasts, under plans for a new high-tech primary school curriculum, reports the Daily Telegraph. They will be expected to "develop an understanding" of different ways to communicate online. Improving keyboard skills, using web sites such as the online dictionary Wikipedia, and learning how to employ spell-checkers will also form part of the biggest overhaul of the nation’s primary-school lessons in the last 20 years. In mathematics, U.K. children will be expected to use spreadsheets to prepare budgets and manage their money. And in new-style "well-being" lessons, teachers will raise awareness about bullying via the internet and mobile phones, staying safe online, and using software piracy and computer security settings. The proposals are contained in draft copies of a new curriculum for five- to 11-year-olds that proposes slashing traditional subjects into six broad "areas of learning." Under the new plans, teachers will get more power to dictate lessons, and modern technology will form a backbone to the entire curriculum. But critics fear proposals are too radical. David Laws, the Liberal Democrat schools spokesman, said: "The curriculum must not be dumbed down as a result of these changes…"

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