1.29 The new technologies of communication and information should be effectively harnessed to support lifelong learning wherever it occurs. Government should initiate discussions with broadcasters and the appropriate regulatory authorities to explore the best ways for broadcasting to promote learning, through both mainstream and dedicated learning channels. The discussions should include arrangements to ensure that, as digital broadcasting is introduced, it is deployed to support learners and learning as a major contribution to the development of a learning culture for all.
1.30 Particular attention should be given to widening access to new information technology and to ensuring that individuals acquire the relevant skills and knowledge to access and be able to make full use of it. Funding should be made available to establish and equip local learning centres, linked to the proposed National Grid for Learning. Skills and standards in using information technology should be established by all awarding bodies and plans should be laid for these to be included in the national curriculum, in all NVQs and GNVQs, in A levels and all programmes of further and higher education.
1.31 Resources should be devoted by funders and senior managers in providing institutions to the development of staff competence in the use and teaching of new technology through appropriate programmes of staff development and, where helpful, qualification. Inspection frameworks should be revised to include a review of institutions' progress in supporting this work. In developing a new national network of information technology provision, use should be made wherever possible of the systems already established in further and higher education, through JANET, SUPER JANET and through the competitiveness fund.
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