Massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, could soon be used to augment the depth and variety of the curriculum taught in British schools, said education secretary Michael Gove speaking at the BETT conference in London today, Wired UK reports.

The key to introducing new opportunities provided by developments in technology and the free, open courses now offered by universities around the world into the classroom will be to leave schools in charge of deciding how they will respond to the changes, Gove said.

“Precisely the wrong way to react to the transformative opportunities offered by educational technology would be for government to try to dictate, from the centre, every last detail of how schools should respond,” the education secretary acknowledged.

The government is currently looking at responses to a consultation on the new accountability arrangements designed for 16- to 19-year olds, in which it has asked about the possibility of using MOOCs to support the education of students within this age bracket.

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