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Digital gap bridged

THE Government is to create a new research centre that will investigate the impact of technology on society and come up with ways to end the so-called "digital divide", it was announced today.

With its location yet to be decided, it will initially focus on access issues and the link between technology skills and jobs.

The running of the centre, which should be operational by the end of the year, is currently being put out to tender.

A scheme to lease laptop computers to every shool child in Nottingham was announced this week in what is believed to be the first project of its kind in the world.

Funded by Microsoft and Arthur Andersen, the initiative could lead to home-school links that would allow teachers to mark work from home while pupils could file homework and use a curriculum site.

Plans are also being considered to set up an automatic attendance register where parents could check on their child's attendance in school via a school webpage.

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