No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

The role of the media in lifelong learning


Key government speakers were present at the recent Adult Learners' Week Media Conference to give positive encouragement to the role of television in giving access to learning for all.

Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, welcomed developments which encouraged the transition from passive viewer to active participant. As an example he spoke of the recent programme on 'Seeing Salvation' which linked in with a National Gallery exhibition of that name. The programme he said, 'combined entertainment and education in an interesting way.' Not only was the number of visitors to the National Gallery increased, but the social spread of those visitors was much wider than usual.

He looked forward with enthusiasm to the opportunities offered by digital broadcasting, which he said was aimed at enhancing traditional education, not replacing it. For adult learners, he said, there was an impressive range of possibilities. Factual programmes on subjects as diverse as history and cooking were already among the most popular with the viewers. Channels devoted to these, supported by on-line guidance and learning materials, together with the local library and adult education provision were just some of the possibilities the future could hold.

Also speaking at the conference, Bob Fryer of the University for Industry said it was important that people understood what learning could and could not deliver - it was wrong to think it could on its own solve every social and economic problem.

Derek Grover, Director of Skills and Lifelong Learning at the DfEE said that broadcasting could support learning by promoting it, supporting it and providing learning materials. In particular, social factors such as community involvement were important for broadcasting to consider, given its power in reaching so much of the UK population. 'Sixty-two percent of children always watch TV before they go to school,' he said. 'This is the way into people's homes and lives.'

Grover said that the main issues to consider where how broadcasting could help raise awareness of learning benefits and opportunities, whether broadcasting should be used for signposting opportunities or delivering them, and how the potential of digital media and Information and Communication Technology could best be exploited.

The DfEE currently has a digital channel of its own in the pipeline, which will be used to broadcast curriculum materials for GCSE qualifications. It is currently in the business of contracting the work, and has asked Granada Media, the BBC and Anglia to band together and come up with a joint proposal to run the channel. Each of the systems offered by the three companies incorporate both TV and PC applications.

The latest edition of Individual Learning News features an interview with Michael Stevenson, the BBC's Director of Factual and Learning departments.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!