Becta: Embracing technology to support adult skills

In the recent publication of ‘Update’ by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), there is an interesting article on how Becta is helping to address the issues raised in the Digital Britain report and the Independent Review of ICT User Skills.

Digital Britain identifies four barriers to embracing digital technologies:

  • availability
  • affordability
  • capability
  • relevance

In addition to their role as the government agency that helps schools, colleges and training providers use technology more effectively, they are also rolling out the national Home Access Programme. This programme will bring computers and connectivity to low-income households around the UK.

We see an opportunity here not just to support young people to use technology to benefit their learning, but to provide access for their parents who can use technology to improve their skills, whether it’s basic IT, a specific work skill, or leisure learning. Following the publication of The Learning Revolution White Paper earlier this year, we are also working with government and key national partners on plans to improve access to informal learning opportunities through technology and digital media.

Read the full article: Embracing technology to support adult skills

Digital Storytelling

If you’re interested in digital storytelling, BBC Wales have created a great ‘How to’ guide.  It basically includes everything you need to know:

A Guide to Digital Storytelling

Shop safe online this Christmas

As part of Get Safe Online week, Ofcom has today published a video setting out steps consumers can take and things they should look out for when shopping online this Christmas.

If you know of other similar resources please feel free to share.

Anti-Bullying Week

This is a week long event organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

16-20 November 2009
This year’s Anti-Bullying Week campaign is ‘Stay safe in cyberspace’. The focus on cyberbullying is reflected in the resource pack sent to schools in England and the pack of resources for FE colleges.

Related Reading:

Get Safe Online begins this week

Get Safe Online begins this week.  Read more and learn how you could help.

Get Safe Online Week

This year Get Safe Online Week is from the 16th to 20th November.  It kicks off with a summit on the 16th:

The Summit is aimed at representatives from organisations and businesses that want to champion the safe and confident use of the internet for their customers and audiences.

Attending the Summit will:

  • Update you on the Get Safe Online initiative
  • Provide an insight into the key internet security issues and threats facing the UK
  • Launch the results of new research commissioned by
  • Feature speakers from government, law enforcement and industry
  • Give you the opportunity to put questions to our expert panel
  • Include a networking session and buffet lunch

Visit to learn more.

New PC to encourage older users

Today the BBC News Technology website has an interesting story about a new computer that is designed to encourage older people to get online.

The simplified desktop – called SimplicITy – has just six buttons directing users to basic tasks such as e-mail and chat.

The computer comes pre-loaded with 17 video tutorials from television presenter Valerie Singleton
BBC Tech: New PC to encourage older users

From reading the article this certainly seems a step in the right direction and is addressing a number of barriers.

Andrew Harrop, head of public policy for charity Age Concern and Help the Aged said efforts to get older people online should be “applauded”.

“Pensioners who aren’t online are missing out on hundreds of pounds in potential savings by shopping around and can also often miss out on the best interest rates for savings accounts, not to mention the social benefits of being online,” he said.

It looks like the private sector has stepped up to the challenge.

Tech Note:
The computer is built using Linux operating system, a free operating system that can be customised by users.

Twitter in the Public Sector

Last month Kable had a very interesting article on how the public sector is using Twitter: ‘The public tweet‘.

The article discusses how local and national government are slowly beginning to embrace this platform as a means of communication with their constituents.

The government’s director of digital engagement, Andrew Stott, has been posting tweets since the spring, and Whitehall now has a semi-official strategy for using the service, developed by Neil Williams, the head of corporate digital channels at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

We discussed this strategy in an earlier blog post titled Civil Servants Encouraged to use Twitter

Leeds City Council has also been using Twitter to communicate with residents, through a handful of feeds managed by its corporate communications department, and 10 or so put out more informally by teams working in specific areas. The latter group includes the council’s pest control team, and the South Leeds Hub, a community centre for young people in the city.

There is also a service named Tweetminster which allows you to follow MPs’ tweets:

Social media, such as twitter, is beginning to play an important role within government as a means to encourage more communication and openness.  It will be interesting to see how its role will be developed in the future election.  We know it played a role in the US elections.  Let us know your thoughts.