E-learning taskforce pushes case for post-16 IT skills

Information
Technology is a basic skill and should be taught free to all, according to an
independent report.

The
report from the Taskforce on E-learning states IT skills are now as important
as literacy and numeracy, and looks at how to make post-16 learning easier to
access, more flexible and suited to the needs of individuals using new
technologies.

The
report recommends:


Information and Communication Technology 
should be designated a basic skill by 2010 along with literacy and
numeracy


The creation of ‘College Online’, an expansion of Curriculum Online into the
post-16 sector to give teachers and tutors access to e-learning resources


A national mentoring programme with 5,000 additional e-learning mentors to
support tutors online


Development of an online ‘careers adviser’ – ‘Which Way?’ – to give people easy
access to advice on the most suitable learning for them through to job
opportunities; and


Improvements in work-based learning – small businesses should be supported and
offered incentives to provide relevant occupational online learning. Investors
in People UK should include access to e-learning opportunities as standard as
part of its strategy to engage more small businesses

Welcoming
the report, Education and Skills Secretary Estelle Morris said: "New
technologies open up huge opportunities to give people access to the learning
they want in a way that suits their needs."

"The
success of learndirect has shown the potential of online learning. This report
looks at how to use new technology in post-16 learning to maximum effect to
give people even greater flexibility and choice."

Estelle
Morris will now consider all the recommendations in detail.

By Quentin Reade

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