Letters to the Editor - 20/12 - Cashless society, Tech teaching, Best of Twitter

Cashless society

[Re: With plastic banknotes set to arrive in 2016, will cash soon disappear entirely anyway?, yesterday]

I agree that we are moving towards a cashless future. Not only have credit and debit cards already largely taken over from cash (the average consumer now carries just £20 in cash), but our forecasts show that 2016 will be the year consumers stop needing a wallet to shop on the British high street – their smartphones will be enough. The future of money is digital, not plastic or paper – 80 per cent of Britons already say they wish they could leave their wallet at home.

Rob Skinner, director, PayPal

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Tech teaching

[Re: Four reasons to be happy about the end of teaching, Monday]

The Socratic teaching method has been going on for thousands of years, and is practised by several of those countries cited as having top education systems. This new approach – whereby teachers take a backseat – was tried in the 1990s, and while it was found to be effective as a supplement to a human teacher for limited periods of time (around 15 minutes), it is not a substitute for it. Instead, the real benefit of these kinds of systems is in being able to quickly identify a student’s misunderstandings, and take steps to correct them.

Name withheld

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BEST OF TWITTER

Good news Cameron: there’s a growing opportunity for EU reform. Bad news: you risk wasting it.
@matsJpersson

Zero hours contracts offer choice to those who want flexibility in hours – like students, parents and carers.
@CBItweets

150,000 homes on green belt is only one quarter of 1 per cent of current green belt of 1,694,000 hectares.
@colinwiles

Cable’s claim about London sucking life out of the economy is nonsense. Prosperity isn’t zero sum.
@MrRBourne