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Thursday, April 28, 2005

More on the Digital Divide

Today`s newspapers feature more on the digital divide in the UK, based on the findings of a study conducted by the London School of Economics.

In the Guardian Lucy Ward reports that ….

`Children from poorer homes are becoming victims of a `digital divide` because their parents lack the skills to help them use the internet as effectively as their middle-class counterparts….`


`…while internet-literate parents produce web-literate children because they can guide and support them, youngsters whose parents are less well informed could harm their education and job prospects.`

You can read the full Guardian article online here.

The story is also covered by the BBC in their article: `Net-illiterate failing children` which is also available online here.

For more info - Becta also has a series of discussion papers on their site that discuss aspects of the digital divide in more detail. They are a couple of years old now but many of the principles and themes discussed are still valid.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Google Calculator

Up until recently I didn`t realise Google had a built in calculator, which for me is quite handy. I know I have a calculator in my accessories but since I have Google open so much of the time this might just be easier for quick sums.

To use Google`s built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you`d like done into the search box and hit the Enter key or click on the Google Search button. The calculator can solve math problems involving basic arithmetic, more complicated maths, units of measure and conversions, and physical constants. You can try one of the sample expressions below, or refer to the complete instructions for help in building your own.

By the way, the image of the number 87 above was taken from PictureStation, a resource I signposted a couple of weeks ago. This has 5000 Pictures online which you can do anything you want with, except claim authorship or sell them.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Connecting the UK

Last week the government published its Connecting the UK strategy, drawn up by the prime minister's Strategy Unit and the Department of Trade and Industry. This aims to close the digital divide and ensure that all levels of society are able to get the most from technology.

You can read summaries of the strategy in both the Guardian and Computing, or you can download a full copy of the report here.

(60 pages in pdf format).