Feeds

People still thick despite internet

e-learning? Never heard of it, mate

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The lamentable truth about the mind-expanding claims for the internet has finally been revealed - people do not use the bottomless well of knowledge to advance themselves, preferring instead to indulge in casual surfing related to hobbies and music.

This is the conclusion of a Cardiff University study which shows that the concept of online "lifelong learning" has largely fallen on deaf ears. The number of adults in education has hardly risen since the advent of the net and less than half of people over 18 make use of the wibbly wobby web - despite its widespread deployment in public buildings. In the end, a person's background was more pertinent to whether or not they used the net for self-improvement than whether or not they could actually get their hands on it in the first place.

Report author Dr Neil Selwyn - whose team polled 1,001 people in Bath, Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff, the Forest of Dean and Somerset - told the BBC that "take-up of e-learning was lower among working-class adults, as had been the case with old-fashioned college courses. Conversely, some middle-class computer users displayed snobbery towards government e-learning programmes, seeing them as 'electronic YTS schemes' for the low-skilled."

This insight comes shortly after Labour MP Dr Ian Gibson slammed the government's failed £62m e-university as "shameful waste" of public money, and an "absolute disaster".

Selwyn maintains that just eight per cent of the population is "excluded" from internet access, but that 48 per cent had not used it during the last year. He gives the example of one man who "only used the internet to book his holidays twice a year and that was done on his behalf by a computer-literate friend".

The doc's chilling conclusion is this: "It's good to make access to the internet as wide as possible, so that no one is left behind, but we have to accept that not everyone needs it in their lives."

Sadly, web utopians will just have to accept that the internet is ultimately no different to that previously-hailed great leveller: the printed word. As the old saying goes - you can lead a horse to the complete works of Shakespeare but you can't make it read. ®

Related stories

UK 'nation of computer buffs'
US hardcore not interested in the net
Wikipedia 'to make universities obsolete'
MP slams failed online university

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.