Feeds

OU: Digital divide now between clued and clueless

Calls for learning in the workplace

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.