• MOOCs could create a ‘digital revolution’ in Scottish schools, says politician

Politicians in Scotland have outlined ambitious plans which would lead to a ‘digital revolution’ across the nation’s schools.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie announced his party’s plans to expand the availability of MOOCs (massive open online courses) to older school students.

While visiting the Edinburgh International Science Festival, he said the plan would offer students the chance to explore subjects that truly inspire them – and benefit those studying in remote areas. Online courses offer pupils the chance to study subjects in a way that they are more responsive to and improve the learning experience, he added.

"Many pupils will find inspiration from reading about Rabbie Burns or Adam Smith in a book at school. But people learn in different ways and the way we educate children should reflect this fact,” he said.

Rennie said this digital revolution was not about replacing traditional classroom learning, however. “It is about complementing the hard work that teachers do in our classrooms,” he added.

It was pointed out that MOOCs have successfully created opportunities for people who would otherwise not have had access to further and higher education. According to Rennie, MOOCs could allow pupils the opportunity to shape part of their own education, while also encouraging them to explore subjects in ‘new and exciting ways’.