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Digital ignorance in powerful circles September 24, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in goverment, Informal learning, social media.
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The Government’s response to tackling the digital divide has them coming up with a new scheme offering “vouchers” to low-income families enabling them to get online at home. This scheme is costing £300 million. Providing these vouchers will not address the problem, let alone overcome it. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep on saying it until somebody with ears in the appropriate places, gets the message.

It’s not about the access….

The ongoing evolution of the Internet..and it will be all about the Internet, means that people who are still to use the technology or have limited experience, are being left behind at an unacceptable rate. There are some small movements to address the real issues here but it’s all too slow and lacking in volume to make a difference.

I chatted with Nick Booth last night about the situation and we drew similar conclusions about what should actually be happening with that money. It should be providing training, guidance, communication, advice etc delivered by the people with the right skills and attitude and in a manner that recognises that the way we learn will need to change to make the most of what the internet is becoming. These “digital mentors” can be the answer to an as yet fully realised situation.

Our project is in the throws of equipping these mentors with the kind of knowledge and skills that will benefit those excluded from the digital community. Hopefully before too long, those who make the decisions will be aware of what’s actually going on and who knows, maybe do something about it.

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Sector backs Government plans for a streamlined skills and education system July 31, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in goverment.
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Plans to give local authorities more say over the education of young people and to streamline the adult skills system have received broad support, Bill Rammell and Jim Knight announced today.

Communities in Control July 16, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in Social Enterprise.
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A new Government white paper, Communities in Control, came out last week and in their own words…
“Communities in control: real people, real power aims to pass power into the hands of local communities. We want to generate vibrant local democracy in every part of the country, and to give real control over local decisions and services to a wider pool of active citizens.”
A few interesting things relating to our objectives, including the proposed £70 million Community Builders Fund available next year and some other third sector stuff. There’s a summary in PDF on the Govt’s Communities web site along with the full white paper and some bumph from Hazel Blears amongst other things.