So, how does school fit into the world of digital media?

Not very well, according to a British expert on "youth culture".

Schools are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the modern child as a result of their failure to embrace the digital media, a leading expert on youth culture will warn in a lecture tonight.

Outside school, children are said to be engaged in a constant whirl of chatting in chat-rooms and exchanging instant messages with friends. They play computer games – often with people on the other side of the world, download popular music and movies. Yet, in many schools, they are taught little more than the rudiments of information retrieval.

"Compared with the complex multi-media experiences some children have outside school, much classroom work is bound to appear unexciting," Professor David Buckingham, head of the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media at London University’s Institute of Education will say.

Part of the reason for this is their teachers’ reluctance to develop the use of new technology in lessons because of inadequate training. "Given the limited nature of most training, teachers themselves may have good reason to feel incompetent – or at least lacking in confidence – when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom," he will argue.

Ministers say they have invested £1.67bn in computer technology in schools.

Things are largely the same on this side of the pond.

I especially like the Professor’s comment about schools teaching "little more than the rudiments of information retrieval". Standardized tests, anyone?

education, digital media, ed tech