Building bridges that span the digital divide

5th January 2001 at 00:00
If you're reading this then you're probably on the upside of the digital divide. The concept is a familiar one and when asked to explain it most people would focus on the divisions between the computer haves and have-nots.

In Schooling for Tomorrow - Learning to Bridge the Digital Divide, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) you'll discover a much deeper analysis of the problem and its surrounding issues. There are also descriptions of a wide range of examples of projects from around the world that are working for digital (and educational) equality - including our own UK National Grid for Learning and learndirect from the University for Industry.

As well as covering a broad range of issues that are directly and indirectly related to ownership and access to information and communications technology (ICT) for learning, the book is also careful to put ICT in context in relation to the underlying issue of educational inequality. While it is acknowledged that access to learning opportunities is variable, it is also made lear that ICT is a powerful force that can amplify this inequality. There are sections on access to computers and communications, at home, at school, and in the workplace, the necessity for training, the impact of informal lifelong learning, and shifts in learning and teaching styles as they impact on the teaching profession and the learner. The complexity of interactions between these factors is explored, resulting in a book that is informative and thought provoking.

The book provides a comprehensive description and synthesis of a wide range of learning and ICT related factors set firmly within the policy agenda for the development of knowledge-based economies. It paints the bigger picture of the digital divide and explores all of its ramifications. If you thought the digital divide was simply about the percentage of computers in UK homes, read this book and think again.

Schooling for Tomorrow - Learning to Bridge the Digital Divide, OECD Paris138 pages, available in pdf format, ISBN 92-64-18288-8 (96 00 08 1)

Price: pound;14.30 (approx)

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