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SCOTS MINISTER SIGNALS THE CLASSROOMS OF TOMORROW

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A new Superhighways task force set up today by Scottish education minister, Raymond Robertson, will help create the...
A new Superhighways task force set up today by Scottish education minister, Raymond Robertson, will help create the classrooms of tomorrow by harnessing the latest computer technology for use in Scotland's schools.

The new task force, headed by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools, will tap into the computer superhighways, strike up partnerships and offer expert advice to schools so that Scotland's pupils can make the most of today's computer technology.

Speaking in Edinburgh at the Scottish Council for Educational Technology conference: Lifelong Learning in a Wired World, Mr Robertson said: 'The days of serried ranks of pupils chanting in unison are long gone. Teaching methods have evolved. In a wired world pupils and teachers will be able to work and communicate across vast distances and to search for and retrieve valuable teaching and learning resources. A very exciting prospect indeed.

'In America, the internet is well used by young people and even many of the country's senior citizens are also surfing the net. However, in the 25 to 65 age range there are many people who have little experience of new technology and have been described by others as the 'digitally dispossessed'.

For many people within this group the problem is that they simply do not have access to digital technology. The importance of such access is recognised by a major new Government initiative to be launched on 3 December, which aims to give people the opportunity to see the benefits of technology at first hand, and so gain experience and confidence in their use.

'We in the UK cannot afford to see the emergence of the 'digitally dispossessed'' either for reasons of age, education or location. We must continue learning from cradle to grave. The future prosperity of the country depends on all our citizens accepting that continued learning is the solution to constant change and that by embracing digital technology we enhance effective learning.'

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