Technology and learning
Chapter 1 Section 5
1.22 As the UfI will demonstrate, one of the best ways to overcome some of the barriers to learning will be to use new broadcasting and other technologies. We expect their role in learning more generally to increase significantly.
1.23 We currently lead Europe, and possibly the world, in learning technology and flexible learning delivery, and we intend to help maintain that lead. Through the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA), we are encouraging learning providers to use information technology and evaluate it. We are also supporting a new quality system for providers of flexible learning being developed by the British Association for Open Learning.
1.24 New digital technology will allow many more channels to be received, whether by satellite, cable or terrestrial TV, and will open the way to interactive learning. Broadcasters have large archives of educational programming which, once digitised, could be made widely available. Linking digital pictures with support materials and remote tuition, for example over the Internet, is already possible. We are opening up discussions with broadcasters, the cable industry and others about ways in which their programme-making capacity and digital networks could support interactive learning. The BBC has already announced plans to launch a public service educational channel - BBC Learning - which will be freely available alongside other digital programming.
1.25 Interactive learning 'products' will have considerable export potential, building on the existing success of television programme sales. We also have a proven ability to recruit students from abroad into further and higher education. There will be opportunities to accredit overseas courses, a growing demand for English language teaching, and the prospect of providing tuition, courses, lectures, and learning materials for sale across the world with the support of the British Council. There is great potential for the United Kingdom to become a world beater in this new global industry.
1.26 We are also setting up the National Grid for Learning. This will help teachers and students in schools to gain access to a wide range of learning materials on-line. The Grid will include the Virtual Teachers' Centre - a resource on the Internet to help improve school teacher training and curriculum support. As well as being available directly to schools, the Grid will also provide links to the UfI. There will also be access from the Grid to JANET and SuperJANET, the wide-band network used by universities.
Q. How can Government and broadcasters maximise the contribution broadcasting can make to widening access to learning?
Q. In what other ways can broadcasting and new information technologies support the Learning Age?
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