Adult Learning in the Digital Age: Information Technology by Neil Selwyn

By Neil Selwyn

This enticing booklet sheds mild at the ways that adults within the twenty-first century engage with technology in several studying environments. in line with one of many first large-scale educational examine tasks during this quarter, the authors current their findings and offer practical thoughts for using new expertise in a studying society. They invite debate on: why ICTs are believed to have the capacity to affecting optimistic switch in grownup studying the drawbacks and boundaries of ICT in grownup schooling what makes a lifelong learner the broader social, monetary, cultural and political realities of the data age and the training society. grownup studying addresses key questions and gives a valid empirical origin to the prevailing debate, highlighting the complex realities of the educational society and e-learning rhetoric. It tells the tale of these who're excluded from the training society, and provides a suite of strong concepts for practitioners, policy-makers, and politicians, in addition to researchers and scholars.

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Adult Learning in the Digital Age: Information Technology and the Learning Society

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It is to these counter-arguments we now turn. Chapter 2 Impediments to adult learning in the digital age Introduction While the le@rning society thesis is a compelling one, even its most enthusiastic supporter would concede that many of the claims upon which it is founded remain untested. As a field of academic and practitioner endeavour, educational technology has promised much over the past 30 years but could be criticised for delivering rather less. Notwithstanding the undoubted potential benefits of new technology for adult learners, it is important for educationalists and policymakers to restrain from unconditionally assuming ICT-based education and training to be a universal panacea for educational problems.

As Tambini (2000:11) contended, unless all citizens were quickly provided with access to the technology required to make use of these ICTbased public services then any government’s efforts would ‘look increasingly illegitimate, as citizens that have paid for those services will have no access to them’. Thus, at the turn of the century the UK government set the ambitious target of achieving ‘universal’ access to the internet by 2005, and all citizen transactions with the government being able to take place online by 2008 (Cabinet Office 2000).

4 billion to ‘e-government’ projects by 2006 (Caulkin 2004). These policies have centred on establishing the electronic delivery of public services to citizens, addressing social inequalities in the use of ICTs and improving the UK’s economic competitiveness through the up-skilling of the workforce. From the early stages of this policy drive, public ICT provision was seen to underpin the inclusiveness and effectiveness of all these objectives. As Tambini (2000:11) contended, unless all citizens were quickly provided with access to the technology required to make use of these ICTbased public services then any government’s efforts would ‘look increasingly illegitimate, as citizens that have paid for those services will have no access to them’.

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