Bridging the digital divide

The BBC digital curriculum will be launched next week amid both cheers and controversy. Educational publishers worry that their often excellent wares will be over-shadowed by the free products of a publicly funded body. And it would be troubling indeed if a single, state-financed provider monopolised educational cyberspace. But schools are bound to welcome a wide-ranging, lively resource from Auntie. They have trusted the BBC for decades to provide top-quality broadcasts and material. The digital curriculum now promises to help teachers into the new age of individualised learning (see page 17) with materials easily used by children on their own.

This makes the need to tackle the "digital divide" between those with state-of-the-art hardware at home, and those without all the more urgent.

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