Feeds

OU: Digital divide now between clued and clueless

Calls for learning in the workplace

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

The vice chancellor of the Open University has said the digital divide is now between people who do and do not understand how to exploit IT fully.

In an opening speech to the Jisc conference in London on 12 April 2010, Martin Bean said that the digital divide was no longer about haves and have-nots in terms of access to IT and ownership of devices.

"In my mind now the digital divide is much more about those that actually understand how to use and apply technology in their lives and their work as a necessity, rather than simply getting access to the technology per se," he said.

According to Bean the issue leads directly into the need to educate people for new types of work. He told delegates that learning in the workplace needs to become integral.

"The only way we dig our way out of this economic crisis and recession ... is if we recognise that we have got to embed learning for life in the workplace," he said.

Bean argued that distance education is growing and universities and colleges face a challenge to find alternative models of delivery. He said higher education institutions need to look at learning not as a once in a lifetime opportunity, but as a lifelong experience.

Another major challenge is being able to transform information into meaningful knowledge, Bean said.

"The day that Google became a verb, and teachers in primary and secondary schools starting looking at Wikipedia as a trusted source of information, we should all have started to think deeply about the notion of how we longer teach people of all ages where to find information and talked instead about how to make sense of that information," said the vice chancellor.

He predicted that trust in content will be one of the big issues in the future.

"Our libraries collectively ... need to be spending as much time thinking about sense making of information as they do about simple retrieval of information," he told the audience of university and college delegates.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.