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Government Launches E-Learning Strategy


The government's new e-learning strategy pledges to target socially-excluded groups, provide a personalised online learning space and e-portfolio for every learner and embed e-learning in work-based learning.

Harnessing Technology: Transforming Learning and Children’s Services is the first joined-up approach to utilising technology across the education system, including schools, colleges, universities and adult and community learning organisations.

Published by the Department for Education and Skills the strategy sets out plans to:
• enhance ICT services available to schools with every school having broadband access by 2006;
• encourage schools to use their online networks to provide parents with more information about their child’s performance and promote greater parental involvement;
• use Internet channels to give teachers parents and learners greater access to information, advice and guidance;
• encourage institutions to offer every learner their own online learning space to store coursework, course resources, results and achievements;
• help engage ‘hard to reach’ learners, with special needs support, more motivating ways of learning, and more choice about how and where to learn.

Schools Minister Derek Twigg said: “Imaginative use of ICT will open up a new world of possibilities in education. Digital technology is already changing how we do business and live our lives, we need to embrace this revolution within the education sector."

However Ufi, the company behind Learndirect, said the strategy had an over-emphasis on how children and young people can interact with e-learning and not enough focus on how adults can also develop their skills using new technology.

Helen Milner, Executive Director at Ufi, said: "In the past four years Ufi has seen more than one and half million people take up learndirect courses.

"There is definitely a demand from adults to learn new skills and learndirect
e-learning courses are proving popular with many people who wouldn't choose more traditional classroom based learning.

"With an aging working population people will need to review and upgrade their skills on a regular basis and e-learning is a flexible and accessible way to allow them to do that. We don't think this has been highlighted enough in the strategy."


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