Feeds

People still thick despite internet

e-learning? Never heard of it, mate

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.