Regulating online learning


Mathias Bouckaert

Analyst at OECD

Online learning platforms are revolutionising teaching and training. The Khan Academy, which was created in the United States in 2007 and now offers courses in more than 36 languages, is just one success story. The benefits stretch beyond universal access to education and support for learners everywhere. User-generated data is opening up exciting opportunities for research and learning analytics is shedding light on how people learn. In other words, it is opening the door to bespoke learning experiences for everyone.

The foreseeable risks are as huge as the benefits – starting with confidentiality and the use of personal data. This issue is especially thorny because online Inclusion and responsible use learning platforms are principally geared towards teenagers and children. Research conducted by the OECD on its New Technologies and 21st Century Children project has also identified risks ranging from cyberbullying to psychological as well as physical hazards and socioeconomic disparities.

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Policymakers need to start looking into these issues. The measures that warrant discussion include regulating online content and behaviour, developing literacy skills (the ability to understand and use written information), embedding digital citizenship education into the school curriculum, and funding independent research to harness big data in education.

Claude Terosier

Who will train artificial intelligence in 2030?