Module 7 Topic 3 Technology and the Learning Economy

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Module 7 Topic 3 Technology and the Learning Economy

Topic Description

This topic is important for understanding the place, and the challenges of technology in the
learning economy of a city/region. It has become almost a commonplace to recognise that o
of the keys to a prosperous future for the city and region is the effective use of technology
throughout its infrastructure. In North America, the term ‘Smart City’ is used for cities that
are using every aspect of technology to link and educate their c
itizens. As the first item of the
toolbox says ‘
The emergence of powerful new information and communication technologies
based on the use of computers and multimedia, digital compression and satellites, fibre
and wireless networks, artificial intell
igence, and virtual reality, vastly expands the options
for engaging individuals, communities and society in general in teaching, learning and

While the topic concentrates particularly on the teaching and learning aspects of technology
ge, the Case Study in lesson 3 expands the scope into its use in all aspects of community
development. Note that here we are not simply talking about the use of computers

the topic
gives equal weight to the responsible use of the broadcast media which ar
e, in a way, more
powerful tools for influencing attitudes and values. And the key is a two
way interaction with
citizens of all ages, not forgetting the very young and the very old.

In a sense there are two focuses of attack. The rapid expansion of the
digital media has left
many citizens gasping from information overload and this often forces a withdrawal from
considered reflection on key issues. People retreat behind the easy options and the most
powerful soundbite. At the level of the school, this can

be remedied by a greater use of
technology in the learning process and a concentration on the development of the many and
various skills of handling information as a part of the curriculum. While this is not yet
happening, some influential voices are at l
ast beginning to make themselves heard above the
clamour for more examination
based evidence of a rise in standards. The effective use of
technology in the school is dealt with in lesson 2, where it becomes obvious that the computer
is but one element in t
he development of creativity as well as rigour.

At the Adult level there is a much more difficult task to perform in changing the perceptions
of minds that have been formed in a different non
technological age. But here again, as the
Case Study from Dub
lin in lesson 3 shows, efforts are being made at the community level to
use computer and media technology to change mind
sets through interaction.

Technology is an essential part of the learning economy and the first 3 lessons in this topic
show why, wh
at and how it can be effectively developed for the benefit of citizens. In
particular the example of Dublin demonstrates an acute awareness of the issues involved.

Topic Objectives

The objectives of this topic are

a) to show why technology is im
portant to the learning economy of a city and the changes it
will influence in learning and the community

b) to give an example of the many uses of learning technology in the schools sector

c) to provide a Case Study of good practice which demonstrates a

plan for the development of
a connected and informed city

Target Audiences

There are a variety of target audiences for this module.

Initially there are the decision

the politicians elected to give direction to many
aspects of the city’s foc
us and to respond to the demands of a rapidly changing environment
within which the city operates.

Secondly there are those city professionals whose responsibility it is to promote a positive
image of an outward
looking city both to its citizens and to t
he world outside.

Thirdly there are those members of the community, workers, educators and volunteers, who
exist to activate and enlarge the democratic process by persuading people to take an interest in
the effective working of the city and its institut

Fourthly there are the professionals who have an interest in ensuring that the right conditions
for economic growth exist in the city and region.

Fifthly there are the researchers from public and private sectors who gather, analyse and
the data which allows a city to measure and monitor its performance as a learning
city, realising as far as it can the potential of all its organisations, institutions and citizens.

Sixthly there are the students in universities, adult education colleges

and even in schools

tomorrow’s active citizens

who, at various levels, need to understand the implications of the
topics discussed in this module

Lastly there are the citizens themselves for whom the city exists, with whom it enriches its

and from whom it reaps its harvest. All of these can profit from the seminars this
module generates.

Lesson 7.3.1 Using Technology in the ‘Wired City’

Lesson Objectives

The objective of this lesson is to initiate awareness and discussion on the effect
ive uses of
technology in a learning economy.

Suggestions for Learning Leaders

a) Introduce the topic of technology in the city. Divide the class into groups of 4 and ask each
to brainstorm where in the city technology is currently used. Aim for 10 diffe
rent examples
each. Bring together into plenary and discuss the results

b) Distribute toolbox item 1, which describes the importance of technology in teaching and
learning. Ask the class to read it. Divide into groups of two and distribute toolbox item 2

questions about the paper

to each. Ask them to complete the questions.

c) Bring into plenary and discuss the results of this exercise. How credible is it? How would it
happen? Make a consolidated list of points in question 3.

d) In different grou
ps of 2 hand out toolbox items 3 and 4. These expand the vision of
technology in the city and give additional insights. Ask the groups to read the paper and then
answer the questions and do the exercises that accompany it.

e) Bring into plenary and discu
ss the results of the questions and exercises. With particular
reference to exercise 1

ask them to estimate when each will come about in their own lives.

f) If time permits, set an internet surfing exercise for further examples of technology usage in
e city/region.

Lesson 7.3.2

Technology in the School


This is a repeat of Lesson 12.5.2 in the schools module, with modifications

Lesson Objectives

The objective of this lesson is demonstrate the increasing versatility and importance
of the use

of technology in the school and to relate this to a school’s future policy.

Suggestions for Learning Leaders

(NB as it should be for a lesson on technology

try to obtain enough computers for
the use of the class in small groups.)

1. Introduce the sub
ject of technology in the school. Find out how many in the class
are at ease with its use and how many are not. Who is an expert? How many have
computers at home? What are the difficulties and what are the advantages. Put a list of
the latter onto the boar

2. Handout toolbox item 5 and ask the class to read it individually. Then divide into
groups of two and ask them to complete the questions. Discuss the results in plenary.

3. Hand out toolbox item 6. Divide into groups of 2 and ask for responses. In p
discuss the results.

4. Distribute toolbox item 7. Divide into groups of 3 and ask them to complete
question and the boxes. Bring into plenary and discuss the results.

5. In the same groups divide items 8A to 8L between them. Each group should now

prepare a short 3 minute presentation on each so that everyone now knows the method
and the examples.

6. Distribute Toolbox item 9. In different groups of 3 ask for responses to the
questions. Discuss the answers in plenary and ask how this should affect

the school’s
term policy.

7. Divide into groups where one person who regularly surfs the net is placed with
others who do not. Use the computers to find examples of each of the methods of using
computers in schools.

Lesson 7.3.3. Dublin

A Connec
ted and Informed City

Case Study

Lesson Objective

The objective of this lesson is to present a Case Study demonstrating advanced thinking in the
use of technology in a connected and informed city.

Suggestions for Learning Leaders

a) Ask how many pe
ople have been to Dublin and what their impressions are. What sort of a
reputation does it have. Point out that it has a very sophisticated policy in all aspects of a
Learning city and that a connected and informed city is one of its strategy developments.

What do they think is meant by that? Hand out toolbox item 10 (7 sheets), which is the
strategy document. and ask the class to read it and, while doing so, underline the sentences
they think are key.

b) Bring into plenary and ask what has been underlined

and why. What are their overall

c) Hand out toolbox item 11, which contains questions and exercise about the strategy
document. Divide into groups of 4 and ask for answers to questions and exercises 1 to 6. In
plenary discuss the results a
nd ask what new insights have been gained about the strategy.

d) Divide into groups of 2 and ask them to complete the exercises in toolbox item 12, which
generalises the strategy and picks out 60 actions, asking for priorities. Since this is rather long
et each group to start at a different point so that all items are covered.

e) In plenary discuss the results to this exercise.

f) Divide into groups corresponding to the number of computers and access points to the
internet. Ask them to surf the

website for evidence of progress in the
implementation of the strategy and for further insights into the city and why it needs a
connected and informed strategy. Ask them to put up any further points they want
to make
about Dublin on a poster. Discuss the results of this.
Toolbox Item 1

Technology and Education

The genie is out of the bottle .

The emergence of powerful new information and communication technologies based on the use of
computers and multi
media, digital compression and satellites, fibre
optics and wireless networks, artificial
intelligence, and virtual reality, vastly expand options for engaging individuals, communities and society in
general in teaching, learning and participating.

The po
ssibilities for using different combinations of technology to directly facilitate learning processes and
to enhance the capacity of existing learning environments, while creating new ones, are huge.
Technology makes it potentially possible to link diverse
communities; to present a more sophisticated
view of the world to learners; to provide local educational services tailored to the needs of each individual
and group; to switch reluctant learners back into the mainstream of learning; and a whole host more

The new breed of learning communities comprises organisations of different types

schools, adult
colleges, universities, companies, churches etc

and people of different ages and backgrounds. They
challenge us to see the world of education and
training in a different way. They re
link learning to the
broader issues and trends in today’s world such as the growth of informal economies, the paradox of
global and local development, rapid and unstoppable change, new social relationships, environment
conservation and social justice and poverty.

The world of learning is currently undergoing a process of enormous challenge and change. The
traditional view of the educator as purveyor, and the learner as receiver, still holds fast in many parts of
world, but new research into how people really learn is breaking down the barriers. Fixed notions of
intelligence quotients and examinations in particular places at particular times for particular qualifications
are being replaced by more flexible ideas su
ch as lifelong learning for all, team learning, multiple
intelligences, personal skills development, examination when ready, trans
disciplinarity and the belief that
learning is the most basic human competence, which everyone can, and does, carry out.

nology is helping that process along

learning is based on needs and demands, oriented towards
individuals, experiential and linked to the growth of community. Flexibility, adaptability, versatility are the
watchwords for societies and systems in transfor
mation. New learning communities accept this as central
to the development of people who respect each other, who can express themselves and who can reflect
upon their own contribution to the improvement of themselves and society as a whole.

Learning commu
nities have, of course, existed for a long time, whether or not we recognise them as
such. What is new is the movement towards networking made more effective by the introduction of email
and the internet. They embrace the formal, non
formal and informal as
pects of learning in equal measure
and recognise that education is a corporate act carried out by individuals. Technology plays a critical role
in this process by allowing the sharing of ideas and information and encouraging interactivity. It provides
ort and motivation for learners. It promotes communication in a different way than in the past. It
enables us to construct, collect, analyse, disseminate and share information in different ways. It allows us
to build both distributed and centralised inform
ation networks.

In the learning process, technology provides the flexibility to cater for different learning styles and needs.
It is able to help people plan their own educational futures and to reflect on their individual pathways to
success. It opens u
p learning to any time and any place. It can support the development of local
knowledge systems and cultural diversity.

As a driver for change, technology can promote the questioning of existing procedures, strategies and
institutions. Ideas will be dealt

with differently. It can enable non
linear thinking and action. It redefines the
traditional role of the teacher who becomes the guide at the side rather than the sage on the stage. Other
relationships are also affected such as those based upon gender, we
alth and family. It helps with
participation in decision
making. People will change their perceptions about themselves and others and
their attitudes to conflict. But all of this will depend upon the application of innovative ways of using the
to release the creative energies that led to their development in the first place.

Norman Longworth

Toolbox Item 2

1. Please write down ten changes in education envisaged by the author as a result of
using the new technologies











2. What do you understand by the following terms used in the paper?

2.1 Multimedia_________________________________________________

2.2 Digital Compression___________________________________________

2.3 Virtual Reality_______________________

2.4 Informal economies___________________________________________

2.5 Paradox of global and local development__________________________

2.6 Multiple Intelligences________________________________________

2.7 Trans

2.8 Distributed networks________________________________________

2.9 Guide at the side___________________________________________

3. Write down below your personal view of the advantages and disadvantages of
using t
echnology for learning. Aim for 4 of each.

3.1 Advantages

3.2 Disadvantages____________________________________________________


Toolbox Item 3 (3 sheets): The N
etworked Region

What is the Networked region?

The Networked Region

where everyone and everything is connected at all times
is the future. While the
Internet has changed the way we think about communication, the Networked Region will revolutionize the
ry fabric of our society

the way we live, work, educate, and govern ourselves. A fundamental shift is
already underway, one which moves from a preoccupation with the cost and speed of computing toward
understanding the full impact and societal value of t
he Networked Region. "Connectedness" will soon be the
basis by which public policy is judged.

While the Networked Region will improve the quality of our lives by equalising opportunity and breaking down
the barriers of geography and time, it is not withou
t its own set of challenges. Policy leaders must act now to
address these challenges. This report seeks to provide insight and understanding of the Networked World so
that its many stakeholders are better prepared to ensure that its benefits are available
to all. The Networked
Region is momentous. We must work together to maximize its benefits and avoid its potential pitfalls.

Key Points about the Networked Region:

The Network will operate everywhere, connecting people and devices seamlessly. The Internet

is but a
preview of a much more powerful, valuable and user
friendly network.

The Law of Network Effects, which states that value is created at an exponential rate every time a single
person or device is connected to the network, will be the driving for
ce in the Networked Region, offering
unparalleled opportunity for growth and learning.

Faster, less expensive, and smaller computers, appliances, and intelligent devices
combined with expanding
broadband capacity
will enable the Law of Network Effects.

Traditional barriers to productivity and interaction
such as time, distance and cost
will be eliminated or
drastically reduced.

The Networked Region will empower individuals to live and work where they choose. There will be mobility
without movement.

Reduced cost of access driven by the Law of Network Effects will drive inclusiveness and help close the
"digital divide" based on ownership of technology. The challenge will shift to assuring that everyone has the
education and skills needed to reap the be
nefits of the Networked Region.

Implications and Action Agenda for Networked Region Stakeholders:

In the Networked Region, local government, industry, public
private partnerships and education will all play
key roles in distributing this new world's benef
its, minimizing potential risks, and working toward

Government and Public Policy

Local and National Government must view itself as a Networked Region player
. Government cannot wait on
the sidelines to see how business and consumers use Netwo
rked Region technologies and services, and only
then figure out how to integrate them into government operations. Government should actively embrace
Networked Region technologies and methods of operation as a responsible way of helping to bring everyone
to the connected world. Pivotal areas in this realm will include interaction with citizens, increasing
"connectedness," and modernizing operations.

Local and National Government must help set the global policy environment and understand its implications
Government has a critical role to play in setting the rules for the Networked Region, especially when it comes
to global electronic commerce. Although the private sector may lead in technology development and
applications, creating and servicing markets, a
nd self
regulation in certain areas, it is government that
enables a clear, simple, and transparent commercial framework for doing business. At the same time, laws
and regulations must be reformulated to meet new needs. Key considerations in this area will

be promoting
competition, establishing clear legal frameworks, and implementing fair policy with respect to taxation and


To smooth the transition to a Networked Region and ensure maximum benefits and protection for all, industry
must conti
nue to lead by example and accept its societal responsibility to maximize the benefits of
connectedness. For this approach to succeed, industry must continue to implement a self
approach in critical areas including privacy, security, ease of use
, open standards, and connectedness.


Education will become more individually driven in the Networked Region, addressing the demands of
teachers, students, parents, and learners of all ages. In this new world, education will overcome many current
hurdles. Skills will be developed both in school and through self
directed learning on a lifelong basis.
Education will be the critical factor driving inclusion in the Networked Region, and technology literacy and
critical thinking skills will be key featu
res of education at all levels. Critical challenges will include integrating
technology into classrooms, providing skill development and training for teachers, creating networked
systems that enable parents to connect to school activities and monitor their

children's progress, and
designing systems that allow adults to learn and grow in their chosen professional and vocational pursuits.

Our world has been changed by the Internet and the growth of e
commerce. These changes, however, mark
only the very beginn
ing of a new age. The emergence of the Networked Region and establishment of true
"connectedness" will entail a dramatic transformation in the very nature of our economies, societies and
governments, as well as interpersonal and international relations.


its very core, the Networked Region is an evolution in perspective. Today when we think of connecting with
others, we think in terms of telecommunications based on voice transmission and computing based on
isolated desktop PCs. These impressions are becom
ing insufficient. We are evolving to a networking model
based on connectedness that will transform the Internet into an expansive and pervasive framework that
touches every aspect of our lives. The convergence of voice, data and video, the growth of commun
bandwidth, and the low cost of access devices are paving the way for a new, inclusive model of

A fundamental shift in high
technology is already underway
one which moves away from a preoccupation with
the cost and speed of computing

toward an understanding of the full impact and societal value that the
Networked World will offer. Indeed, the focus of the next generation of information technology will shift from
faster computers, speedier connections and less expensive prices to linki
ng the vast potential and various
pieces of networked communities.

The information infrastructure of the 21st century will be pervasive, and people will rely on wired and wireless
and the network itself
to improve the quality of their lives. Today,

centralized institutions deliver
government, health care, business, and education services in response to requests. Tomorrow, individuals
and collaborative teams connected through information networks will form interactive relationships that evolve
and di
sband continuously, based upon demand. The Networked Region will become a valuable part of
everyday life, addressing the needs and wishes of people and the institutions they comprise. This new world
will enable the tailoring of products and services to the

needs of the individual, and will allow people to be
"perpetually mobile" while lessening the need to move physically.

The Value of Inclusion

Driving this new reality is the Law of Network Effects, which states that value is created at an exponential rate

each time an individual or device connects to the network. This effect offers unparalleled opportunity for
growth and learning as increasing numbers of individuals become networked. It also operates as an
instrumental tool
along with education

in effort
s to bridge the "digital divide." The powerful force of the
Networked Region will drive inclusiveness due to the fact that value is created whenever someone comes
online and adds their contributions to the broader community. Thus, networked businesses real
ize their
greatest value by encouraging customers, vendors and suppliers to be likewise networked, and government
institutions will improve speed and efficiency of operations
ultimately benefiting citizens
by offering networked
services and communication.

Connectedness will soon be the grid by which public policy will be judged. Legislative and regulatory policies
will, from this point forward, be judged according to the degree to which they impede or advance
and government leaders, in turn, w
ill be evaluated according to the level of leadership they
display with regard to ensuring true connectedness. Technological progress has led to the point where a
Networked Region is not only desirable, but inevitable. The Networked Region

and the unprec
edented, true
connectedness it will introduce

is the future

Consider for a moment what will happen when billions of people are able to connect to a common network
that is always on and accessible from anywhere. Imagine a world in which everything that we

rely upon in our
daily lives can be easily linked to a common network. Now consider when bandwidth availability and computer
memory are no longer constraints on how we use the network to communicate, conduct paperless business,
learn, and more effectively

run institutions. This is the Networked Region toward which we are heading.

Home in the Networked Region

Enter the networked home. Computing in the home will go far beyond the networking of PCs and surfing the
Net. While we're seeing advances in built
home networks and broadband service options that allow
simultaneous Internet access for several family members, these developments are merely the tip of the
iceberg. A study by the International Data Group forecasts that by 2002, more than 50 percent of de
connected to the Internet will not be PCs; they will be intelligent devices and everyday appliances. The
emerging networked home opens the door to a whole new class of services, such as management of security
systems and major appliances, as well as
market opportunities for custom
tailored products.

In the networked home, homeowners will have the ability to monitor their homes remotely from any number of
devices through new forms of security system management based on "Webcams" (Web
enabled video
tors). Childcare and healthcare, particularly for the elderly, will also be facilitated through monitors within
the household and from remote locations. Networked homes will have the ability to automatically monitor
energy management and temperature contro
l, lighting control, and simple peripheral conveniences such as
lawn sprinklers. Major appliance manufacturers are already researching development of sophisticated
maintenance systems that will allow problems with washers, dryers, furnaces and water heater
s to be
signaled by the appliance itself, and diagnosed remotely by authorized repair facilities.

The implications go far beyond making life easier in the home, however. The unprecedented connectedness
of the Networked Region will fundamentally redefine,
and potentially improve, many of our institutions.
Institutions such as schools, hospitals, churches, and businesses will each be transformed by being
networked as they become increasingly connected.


Toolbox Item 4

1. In the boxes below name 5 changes that the author believes will take place in your life in the next few years
because of the networked region.

1.1 In the home






1.2 in Education






1.3 In the community






1.4 In your personal life






2. Why do you think the author believes the following? How will it come about?

2.1 the networked Region will improve the quality of our lives__________

2.2 Local and National Government must understand the implications and set a policy________________

2.3 Industry must lead by example_________________________________________________________

2.4 Education will overcome many
current hurdles____________________________________________

2.5 The Networked Region will drive inclusiveness_____________________________________________

2.6 The networked home will bring many benefits______________________________________________

Toolbox Item 5: An example

The computer as a distance delivery tool

No discussion on the use of technology can ignore the advances being made in distance delivery
tools and techniques. However, not only are the studios expensive , but the pedagogic
techniques used are
often ill
suited for use in schools, except at the older levels. But no such constraints exist at the
Maconoquah School in Indiana, USA. Here a sophisticated interactive network of video technology, state of
the art computers and voic
e services link the 2000 students and teachers with anyone and anywhere in the

The school is completely cabled through fibre
optic technology, every room and every desk linked
to each other and to the outside world. In
school recording technology

allows teachers and students
making a trip, for example, to the Indiana State Museum to record a VCR tape of the visit, and indeed
students are encouraged to make their own video learning materials, with background music, edited
footage, subtitles and na
rration for others to learn from. Teachers from any classroom can call up
videotapes, still videos, laser discs, CD
ROM and CDI discs, motion pictures, computer software slides or
satellite images onto the classroom desktop monitors and large screen facil

Every classroom and administrator desk is equipped with a data port giving access to central file
servers, multimedia software, email, word
processors, presentation systems and desk
top publishing.
Voice mail is linked to homes and other buildin
gs in the locality. Students use the technology to develop
newspapers, do homework, access language programmes in Spain, Italy and France, download books and
video materials, learn at their own pace and test themselves on the knowledge gained. Every teache
r has
been trained to use the technology in the optimum way.

For some, such technological richesse would be the ultimate nirvana, a foretaste of learning
efficiency for the future. For others it is a horror story in which the machine has taken over the
function of
the teachers and is transforming children into non
creative techno
junkies. But of course, even in the most
technologically oriented school, there has to be multiple opportunities to interact without the technology.
And it will not diminish in

the coming years.

Because of its extensive use of ICT, Maconoquah claims that it can deliver a continual skills
curriculum with accompanying self
assessments. Students with special needs, whether deficient or gifted,
can be catered for individuall
y. A wide curriculum can be provided, bringing in expertise from all over the
district and even internationally. The school goals encourage creativity and innovation, and a strong
partnership with the local community and parents.

1. Why do you th
ink that the pedagogic methods used by standard distance delivery systems are
unsuitable for schools?

2. From this example name 5 ways in which students at this school have an advantage.






3. Why might some teachers dislike this story?

4. How long do you think it will take before schools in your region are equipped like this?__________

5. Brainstorm some creative ways of getting technology into the schools in your city. Write 5
innovative solutions on the back of this sheet.

x Item 6: Technology in a Lifelong Learning School

It is recognised that few schools are wired up to the distance learning capabilities of the
internet. However, bearing in mind that this audit reflects the future as well as the present,
these questions a
re relevant to the development of a technology policy by the school

1 How much do the sentiments expressed in the quotations below accord with the school’s
perception of its potential usefulness 0= fully to 5= not at all






‘The commu
nications revolution has enriched, in different ways,
both the internet service providers and their rapidly expanding
customer bases. Schools cannot but be a part of that scenario if
they are to enable their charges to come to terms with the real


Making Lifelong Learning Work

Our use of technology will broaden the curriculum and enhance
lifelong learning by establishing new learning environments for
teachers and children. It will connect into the broadband fibre
optic networ
ks linking homes, workplaces and educational
organizations in the community, creating innovative home
school links with all parents and joining into national and
international projects through satellite (
Mawson Lakes School
technology policy)

Most of what our education and training systems offer is still
organised and taught as if the traditional ways of planning and
organising one’s life had not changed for at least half a century.
Learning systems must adapt to the changing ways in which
ple live and learn their lives today.

European memorandum on Lifelong Learning

Toolbox item 7

1. Put a tick against the uses you think the computer is put to in your schools.

2. In the boxes
below give an example of the uses of ICT in your school

Computer use









Toolbox item 8A

The computer as a people networking tool.

Putting children in touch with other children, experts, mentors and

who can help them achieve their goals, fulfil their potential and add to their
maturity and happiness. Putting teachers in touch with other teachers,
experts, partners and others who can give new insights, increase resources
and provide added value
. The Pallace project described in lesson 12.4.5 and
very briefly below is a prime example of this. It involves both teachers and
children in schools in five countries in a monitored interaction to explore how
schools can contribute to the development of a

learning city. In another
project, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the
USA have made themselves available as contacts for school children world.
‘Telementoring’ , a mentoring system based on email, is now well
in the USA as a means of helping young people both academically and
socially. Engineers at Hewlett
Packard for example are linked to young
mathematicians in schools to help them solve problems.


Global Learning City/Region Networks and the


, if you will, a system of linked learning cities and regions around the
globe, each one using the power of modern information and communication
tools to make meaningful contact with each other

School to school to open up the min
ds and understanding of young people

University to University in joint research and teaching to help communities

College to College to allow adults of all ages to make contact with each

Business to business to develop trade and commerce


to hospital to exchange knowledge, techniques and people

Person to person to break down the stereotypes and build an awareness
of other cultures, creeds and customs

And so on

museum to museum, library to library, administration to


that these links include both the developed and the developing world
so that say Brisbane, Seattle, Southampton, Shanghai and Kabul, to pick 5 at
random, form one Learning Cities ring among a hundred similar networks


networks are not ne
w, but the network which
South Australia

is putting together is the first to involve children, teachers and parents in
debate about the learning city and what schools can do to help create it.
There is a huge add
on value to this in that it not only create
s heightened
awareness of what a learning city can be but also potentially mobilises
hundreds of people to contribute to it. This of course will require some
creative management and the development of tools such as questionnaires to
help increase understan
ding but its beauty is that the answers are coming
from the future citizens themselves, and not being imposed upon them by

Toolbox item 8B

The computer as a collaborative learning tool.

In this teachers develop new courses jointly and teach

collaboratively in a common curriculum between schools internationally using
communications technology as a means of teacher
teacher and pupil
linking. Several of the Comenius programmes initiated from the European
Commission’s Socrates program
me have adopted this approach. One such
project, ‘A Europe of Tales’, involved teachers and children telling each other
stories related to their own country or region. ‘Adopt
monument’ is another
example. In this Beernaert tells us that schools from
terdam, Athens,
Brussels, Canterbury, Copenhagen, Dijon, Dresden, Dublin, Luxembourg,
Naples, Santarem and Toledo collaborated ina project to improve understanding
of their own and eachothers’ cultural heritage. They each adopted a monument
close to them,
researched its history, related it to the cultural and political
development of their country and exchanged this knowledge between each
other. Some even made themselves responsible for part of the upkeep of the
The increase in learning motivation

among children in these types
of interaction is significant.

And this emphasises that the main task is not the learning itself. It is
persuading children that they want to learn in the first place. And here the
computer as firstly a networking tool and

then as a collaborative learning tool
can help. For example, in a groundbreaking project under the PLUTO project
in the late 1980s children in Manchester were linked through computer
networks with children in Copenhagen. The objective was to find strategi
es to
teach English to the Danish children using strategies whereby the English
children would set and mark exercises, supervised by a trainee language
teacher. It would, as an incidental advantage, also help the English children
with their own English. Th
is proved to be relatively successful at the time, and
one unexpected outcome was the desire of the English children to learn

Toolbox Item 8C

The computer as a personal learning tool.

The use of the new generation of computer software as a le
arning tool
has been mentioned above. But there are other ways in which it can be used
directly as a personal learning tool. One of them is in language teaching.
Language learning has been a problem area in most English speaking
countries for many years. I
t is caused partly by a shortage of language
teachers who can find more lucrative, and less stressful, employment in the
world of international trade, but mostly by the ‘let them speak English’ attitude
so prevalent in most of anglophone society. Nor have
expensive language
laboratories usually been within the purchasing power of most school budgets
and so the methodologies of language teaching have focussed in on the
easier and more measurable aspects of correct grammar and memorised

To be su
re there have been innovative projects such as the laserdisk
produced under an IBM grant which inserted the learner into conversations in
French and Japanese, but these were not specifically aimed at
schoolchildren, and the technology became obsolete. One
way language
programme that does still exist is the ‘Translate a Poem’ project described on
the armadillo website. Here students from different countries exchange poems
written in their own languages and write what they think the poem is saying in
a fo
reign language. Where used it has been successful not only in raising
awareness of languages but also in increasing sensitivity to poetry.

Of course it is not only in languages that the computer is valuable as a
personal learning tool. And it can start t
o be useful at a very young age. In
Victoria, Australia, Whitefriar's year 1 class has been researching the topic of

wild and domestic and endangered species. Children were
encouraged to access, retrieve and present information they had discovere
using as a primary source the CD
Dangerous Creatures,
a disc with
excellent multimedia capabilities (graphics, video and sound productions).
This was important, as the children are only beginner readers.

In the first activity, the children were ask
ed to choose one animal and to
carry out research using the disc. In so doing they became familiar with the
mapping, the buttons and hot spots and researched the relevant areas of
interest. For example, if the chosen creature was a snake, the disk asks ‘Wh
good are they?’ The child then plays the video and listens carefully for the
answer? This approach enhanced the students skills in successfully
accessing and retrieving relevant information. To follow this up a picture of
their animal was printed and th
e children were asked if it was an endangered
species. The software provided clear illustrations of where the endangered
species are located and this helped the children visualise the issue from a
global perspective. A third activity involved the children
printing in their own
words at least one fact about their animal. They chose the graphic to go with
their information. The lesson provided very young children with the knowledge
and skills to retrieve information from the computer and turn this into
dge and understanding.

Toolbox Item 8E

The computer as an information retrieval and database tool

Here is where the greatest challenge lies, and where the advantage of the
internet makes itself apparent. Indeed it is where the inadequacy of the
ard curriculum becomes glaringly obvious. The massive amount of
information on the net grows exponentially year on year and, given that the
usual safeguards against accessing doubtful and abusive material are
applied, much of it is useful for producing ins
ights, understanding and
knowledge. Both children and teachers can use it effectively, the latter for
identifying information and materials sources, the former for homework
assignments, personal projects and interest.

The environment might be typical of
the many database opportunities.
Offerings range from the Global Monitoring Systems at UNEP
GRID, through
national weather and environment databases such as CORINE and NASA, to
an enormous range of local environmental databases available from Local
ent. One example of this comes from Japan where school students
went on the field trip in order to find rocks and fossils. Using a local computer
base, they identified the items and wrote up their findings and results.
This led to further study on the

sources and history of the rocks, the
superimposition of strata, the distribution of volcanoes and riverbeds in the
region and eventually land
use patterns and the human geography that had
been superimposed onto the physical geography. For the latter they

used the
computer to access data from national and local sources. They even
contributed valuable data not already on the database. In so doing students
learned the techniques of basic research and discovered the convenience of
computer use. As resources t
o underpin strategic teaching and learning, and
as developers of the mental tools and techniques which enable people to
cope with the explosion of information, they are invaluable.

Toolbox Item 8F

The Computer as a data collection and analysis tool

re are hundreds of variations on the data collection theme in the local
environment. Trees, birds, gardens, rivers, plants, flowers, streets, houses

all are potential objects for personal or class databases in the vicinity of the
school giving rise to en
vironmental, biological and botanical insights. But there
are other focuses for the collection of data. De La Salle College, Cronulla,
Sydney, is a senior coeducational college of approximately 500 students.
History students there are often required to make oral presentations based on
the results of their investigations.

One example of this is a unit on World War 1, where Year 11 students are
investigating the effect of World War I on the lives of young Au
stralians, both
at the frontline and in Australia. Students used photographs, documents and
various memorabilia as well as interviews, letters and diaries as raw material.
In some cases, the grandparents of group members also proved a valuable
resource. In

others the computer itself was resource. The outcome would be a
reconstruction of the impact of the war on the lives of individuals, and, through
this, insight into its broader context. This is a valuable exercise in data
collection and analysis. However,

there is a further dimension to this project,
in that the computer was also used as presentation medium. By linking the
video camera and a computer to produce digital images, it was found that the
students were given greater control over what they were do
ing and were able
to produce semi
professional presentations that could be used by their fellow
students to further their own learning. The school also gained a permanent

The use of technology in two ways

for the storage and analysis of the
ta, and for the preparation of video presentations

has provided another
effective strategy to the teaching of history in the school. There are many
examples of such projects build up geographical, historical or family
databases both locally and across co
untry and regional boundaries. They not
only demonstrate the power of the computer to stimulate more meaningful
and relevant work in the context of real world examples, they also change the
teacher relationship. Peter Smith puts this more succinctly.

advantage of this new capability will require profound changes in the roles of
teachers, students, and school,’

he says ‘
Instead of being the repository of
knowledge, teachers will be guides who help students navigate through
electronically access
ible information. They will use the new technologies to
build networks with each other, with parents and students, with academic and
industrial experts, and with other professionals
Schools will look less like the
factories they were set up to emulate and

more like the workplaces of a post
industrial age. The distinction between learning inside of school and outside
will blur’

Toolbox Item 8G

The computer as a communications tool

The world is shrinking and Schumacher’s global village is fast becoming
reality. It takes the press of a button to send email speeding around the seven
continents of the world in trillionths of a second. According to Rose and
Nicholl, a single hair
thin optical fibre can transmit all twenty
nine volumes of
the Encyclopaedia
Britannica in less than one second. Satellites encircle the
globe and enable visual, as well as verbal, communication and link into the
several million computers now used in offices, studios, universities, homes
and, if they believe themselves to exist in
the modern world, schools. There
are now forums, internet groups, discussion marketplaces and chat lines on
every conceivable subject in every place where human beings interact. The
communications revolution has enriched, in different ways, both the intern
service providers and their rapidly expanding customer bases. Schools cannot
but be a part of that scenario if they are to enable their charges to come to
terms with the real world.

As we saw in chapter 1 this eruption of information and communication

has the effect of disenfranchising those who are unable to cope with it.
Teachers and children find themselves in exactly the same dilemma

much information, too few strategies to cope with it. And of course there is
also dis

the opport
unity for broadcasters, dictators,
unscrupulous communicators from every walk of life, to manipulate thoughts,
feelings and actions in ways that inhibit the growth of a mature society,
replacing one sort of tyranny with another. It is a situation of great
urgency for
schools. One way to deal with it is to use the communications capability of the
computer to communicate with others. Heatherwood school in Victoria,
Australia, services students with mild intellectual disabilities from ages twelve
to twenty
. Its philosophy is based on the belief that every student has the
ability to learn and succeed and it aims to develop self
motivated individuals,
who have the necessary attitudes and skills to lead independent, socially
productive and personally fulfillin
g lifestyles.

To this end it publishes every week the ‘Heatherwood Star’, a newspaper
for parents and the community. All classes in the school are involved and
teamwork in writing the stories is encouraged. Planning and discussing ideas
often takes plac
e in the classroom and students may prepare drafts to bring to
computer sessions. On the technical front, word
processors, digital cameras
and publishing software such as Pagemaker are used. But the real benefits
come from the activity itself. It promotes
many of the skills identified in chapter
9 as essential for a lifelong learning world

teamwork, critical judgement,
communicating, information handling, decision
making and others. Teachers
use the results for further reading and discussion work.

preneurial skills are added since the students also sell the
newspaper, and communication between school and home and school and
community are enhanced. They own both the process and the outcomes. This
is an excellent exemplar replicated in many schools to
day, and it opens the
door to other communications
oriented exercises based on the increasing
capability of the computer, such as the making of videos, CD Roms and
professional standard publications.

Toolbox Item 8H

The computer as a creativity tool.

omputers are machines. They do only what they are programmed to do,
even if, to the untutored mind, much of it seems to be astonishing. The also
do it very fast. Any creativity surrounding the computer must therefore
emanate from the people using it. And i
n today’s and tomorrow’s world
creativity is a key attribute for every human being. Rose and Nicholl lament

Children are leaving school ill
equipped for the jobs of the future

the jobs
that will require very high standards of analytical ability, creativ
ity and
flexibility, In fact we don’t even know what those jobs will be. They have yet to
be invented
.’ The second part of the quotation is most certainly true, as is the

But there are now a large number of schools where creative applications
nd the use of the computer abound. Many thousands of children are
adept at making their own home pages on the web and this is one of the
reasons why the internet is growing so rapidly. At Rosny college in Hobart, an
establishment for years 11 and 12, stude
nts are making heavy use of
computer graphics and design programs

No longer do traditional design
methods using 2D paper space and primitive drawing tools to illustrate a
concept apply.
tudents' creative t
hinking skills and conceptual ideas are
developed in a three dimensional, computer generated, virtual environment.
They are put into a problem
solving situation to produce an initial model and
use further computer simulations and prototyping steps through
the various
stages in the design process. If the design is to be produced or manufactured,
final working drawings are printed and collated at the end of the design

The course they take progresses through an ever more complex series of
tasks lea
ding at the end to a solution which only the computer can generate.
These design exercises extended the students' ability in the various software
tools available and enabled them to experience the many and varied methods
of developing a design from the ini
tial concept to a final three dimensional
solution. They were enabled to proudly present their work and ideas in a
range of formats to future employers and tertiary institutions.

Toolbox Item 8J

The computer as a research tool.

Computers are also used
as tools for research in many
environments, usually associated with universities, laboratories or
advanced manufacturing industry. But schools too can use the ability of
the computer to store, analyse and present data in order to develop the
critical think
ing skills needed by citizens of the future.

One example of computer work stimulating cooperation between
schools comes from the Hobart region of Tasmania in a partnership
between the Department of Education, the local newspaper, ‘the
Mercury’, a primary
school and several secondary schools. All
participating schools have varying degrees of access to the Internet,
ranging from single line up to multiple computer lab access.The
Mercury’s ‘News in Education’ programme identifies key issues in the
news and cu
rrent affairs and produces special materials for schools.
The targeted areas have been written specifically for publication on the
WWW. Schools can then gain immediate access to material that is
being constantly updated. For example, themes have included:
‘Celebrate Tasmania, an historical feature on Tasmania's past,
‘Antarctica’ and the Opinion page of
The Mercury
, looking at the
editorial, daily cartoon and letters. Each of the published themes has a
combination of text and graphics, as well as teacher's
notes, suggested
activities and ways of utilising the source material.
The Mercury

provides students with access to the initial copy as received from
journalists, the first edit with comment and the final edit that appeared
in the newspaper.

This gives st
udents a special insight into how a newspaper
operates. Prior to the publication of the newspaper, the students were
able to pull this material off the web site and assume the roles of writer
and editor to create a page of the newspaper. When the paper was

published, the students were able to compare their page with the real
page published in
The Mercury
Fast reliable access to the Internet is
an absolute necessity as many of the activities and the source
rely on the use of pictures, cartoons and significant amounts of text.
Such projects promote interactivity between schools and industry,
between schools and schools and of course between schools and

all in the context of a real and rel
evant learning

Such illustrations demonstrate the ability of the computer to enlarging the
vision and horizons of today’s school students. Smith agrees. ‘
Because of
their immersion in a computerized world
,’ he says, ‘
children absorb
on differently than their parents do. Instead of following information
passively from beginning to end

as people tend to do with television shows,
newspapers, and books

children interact with the new technologies.
Watching them use a computer is more

like witnessing a conversation than a
monologue. They skip from place to place and draw connections. They
construct their own realities by experimenting with what already exists
. ‘

Toolbox Item 8K

The computer as a materials delivery or development too

New resources for lifelong learning are unlikely to come from local taxes or national
handouts. Strategies for increasing the resource available to the school have been discussed
in several chapters in both parts of the book. However, the computer itsel
f is an enormous
source of new resource available to schools, and much of it entirely free of charge. In the UK,
the English and Scottish National Grids for Learning are setting an example by developing a
library of films, case studies, sample lessons, vid
eos, graphics material etc suitable for use by
schools and other educational organizations.

But there are other sources emanating from all over the world wide web. Longworth
pointed out in ‘Learning Cities for a Learning Century’ ‘
A vast library of downl
materials highly relevant to many curricula, including video clips, graphics, text, sound, motion
picture, is now available there, much of it free of charge. Want to know about Kangaroos?
Look up the Kanga company's website for educational material
s suitable for geography,
history, natural history and home economics. Want information and materials on oil and
petroleum? Look at any of the oil companies' web sites for graphics, learning materials, clips
and sample lessons for teachers. This new richn
ess of resource, while often industry based,
is not always an advertising gimmick and much of it is professionally prepared by active
.’ And nor is this simply available to teachers. It is there to be used by the students
as they construct their p
rojects and develop their presentations in order to make yet more
materials available.

Bannockburn Primary School in Victoria, Australia, takes a whole school integrated
approach to curriculum delivery and uses the learners themselves in years 3 and 4 to

develop it. Children work in groups of three or four to create a mini television program to
demonstrate special effects, using software developed principally for creating learning
materials. The emphasis is on whole brain learning with a mix of dynam
ic, imaginative,
analytical and commonsense tasks.

Firstly they are taught how to draw pictures, add text, record music and students' voices, and
use the slideshow component of a computer program titled Kid Pix Companion.

Secondly the children survey the
ir peers to find out their favourite television programs and
advertisements and to ask their opinion on

what makes a TV show popular?

what special features make one advertisment more successful than another.

what audience is targeted for particular advert
isments and TV shows.

They then list key words from the information collected and presented and classify
advertisements and television programmes into different types.

The next stage is, in groups, to produce their own slideshow, generate their own speci
effects and link pictures to create an animated sequence. They use a combination of word
processing, drawing, sound recording and special effects to input into the software. Only if
groups were unable to solve a problem could they request assistance fro
m their peers (peer
tutoring) or teachers. Off computer tasks included script
writing, and the research, design and
construction of a radio or television system (from microphone or TV camera to receiving the
signal in our homes). The outcomes are new multi
media productions, but in addition children
have also used other software to produce ‘living books’, school magazines and newspapers.
The quality from such young people is high.

This is a good example of the usefulness of the computer to raise the standa
rd of
achievement and learning in children, and to act as a focus for innovative and creative

Toolbox item 9

The effective use of technology is essential to the modern school and helps to meet the
new lifelong learning demands of flexibility

and increased ownership. These questions
can be used to raise the debate on 3 aspects of learning technologies in the school


The development and effective use of distance learning technologies (satellite, cable, ISDN,
radio etc) to develop and deliver lea



the use of electronic networks to increase learning incidence and performance


The development and use of open learning systems and courses through computers in the
classroom, the home, the office and wherever there are learners.

1 Dist
ance Learning and the Institution




Does the school have access to broadband capability for delivering
courses at distance to learners in classrooms etc within the school


Is there a school strategy to increase broadband facilities for l


Are there studio facilities for distance delivery within the school?


Is there a defined strategy to improve the knowledge of teachers about
the effective uses of distance learning systems


If such an opportunity arrived would it

be welcomed by the majority
of the teachers in the school?

2 If you wish to add a comment here about the school’s distance learning development
policies, please use the lines below to express your thoughts and/or opinions or more




3 E
learning and the internet

‘thanks to the school's investment in technology, its social
studies teachers are able to enrich
heir instruction on international trade by bringing into their classrooms live coverage of
French farmers demonstrating in Strasbourg, or by discussing the subject live with a uni
versity teacher in California who is an authority on sanctions and embargoes
. New
technologies have opened up the world to students in the school’

Ray Steele, Westfield High School Indiana

3.1 the use of networks in schools is proliferating . Please answer the questions below

1= 0
5%, 2= 6
10%. 3= 11
20%, 4= 21
50%, 5= over 50 %







What proportion of students are given access to email facilities
internally in the school


What proportion of teaching staff regularly use email as a
communications tool


What proportion of courses use the internet

as a reference source


What proportion of homes are linked to the school by


What proportion of staff are able to use networking strategies for

3.2 The use of the internet demands special knowledge o
f technology. Please answer the
following questions





Is there a formal plan to increase this sort of activity within

the institution


Is there a formal course for staff on the effective educational
use of e
learning and th
e internet?


Does the institution have special programmes to enable
students and staff to buy computer hardware and software
more cheaply


Is there a self
learning centre within the school?


Is there a library of educational soft
ware available to staff
and pupils?


Does the school participate in any local, European or
National projects involving electronic networking as a
learning medium/environment

3.3 The following are effective uses of networking and computer tec
hnology in schools.
Please say wheter or not it is used in this way in your school. Please add any other use within
your school in the blank boxes




The computer as a people networking tool

linking sta晦fand pupils to


compute爠as a collabo牡tive lea牮ing tool

景爠developing and
teaching new cou牳es coope牡tively with anothe爠school


qhe compute爠as a pe牳onal lea牮ing tool

景爠individual study


qhe compute爠as an in景牭ation 牥t物eval and database to

suppo牴ing p牯jects


qhe 䍯mpute爠as a data collection and analysis tool



qhe compute爠as a communications tool

linking child牥n and sta晦f


qhe compute爠as a 牥sea牣h tool

物ng and analysing
pe牳onally collected data.


qhe compute爠as a mate物als delive特 o爠development tool

to develop new mate物als and have them delive牥d automatically


qhe compute爠as a distance delive特 tool

景爠linking to sa
p牯g牡mmes wo牬d


qhe compute爠as a management tool

景爠developing timetables etc


qhe compute爠as an administ牡tion tool

景爠lette牳 etc


qhe compute爠as a tool 景爠c牥ativity

using c牥ativity p牯g牡mmes


qhe compute爠as a home
school communications tool

3.4 If you wish to add a comment here about the school’s use of computers as tools for
learning, please use the lines below to express your thoughts and/or opinions or to give more



Toolbox Item 10 (7 sheets): Case Study, Dublin

A connected & informed city I


In 20
12, Dublin will be a city where communities, agencies, businesses, citizens and decision
makers will
have easy access to manageable information and have the means and ability to communicate with each
other. Dublin will be a city that harnesses the power o
f communications technology to connect and inform
people, create opportunities and tackle social exclusion.


Information is the key to power, choice, opportunity, participation and inclusion. If we are not informed our
ability to make choices and t
o participate is reduced. People need information, and in a society that has

embraced legally and ethically the concept of freedom of information, agencies and decision
makers are
obliged to share information and to be transparent. Through the nation
Citizen Information Centres

(CICs) people can access information about a whole host of different services available to them. We live,
however, in an era of information overload and complexity. It is therefore, essential that those gathering

and distributin
g information ensure that it is provided in an accessible and manageable manner.

Creating a Connected and Informed City requires connecting people to one another. This is achieved not
just by the provision of information, but also by the application of in
formation through debate, discussion,

movement and action. People connect through cultural events, religious practice, issue based
movements, volunteer action and politics. They connect us to each other, to society, to shared values and
create in the conne
ction a shared sense of meaning, purpose and place. These connections are the
bedrock upon which individuals engage meaningfully in family, community, career and civil society.

Local Information

A key to ensuring that people shape and receive information
that helps them to build communities, tackle
issues and influence policy is the existence of a vibrant and locally focused media sector. Dublin is the
home of the national media (print, radio and television) and therefore suffers from a lack of focus on lo
issues as national issues take a priority. Dublin today is a city, within the global village, where citizens and
communities are influenced daily by news, events, culture and ethos that is transmitted into the home and
workplace through television, the

internet and print media. With the increasing pressures of
commercialization and the growing integration of Europe, local communication and information are
merging into international frameworks and companies.

The need to develop and enable local people

to generate, manage and disseminate information that is
locally relevant, locally shaped and locally understood is a real need in Dublin today. The advent of digital
media allows for greater differentiation of content and removes the barriers of time and
can help address
this need. People have a civic right to access the means and facilities to communicate through print,
sound or vision. Community media must be empowered and supported so that this civic right might be
realised in an independent and locally

relevant context. Citizen Information Centres (CICs), which
operated on a wholly voluntary basis until 1996, are currently agreeing boundaries with a view to
becoming an integrated local network of information, advice, advocacy and referral service provid
ers in
the City and more importantly in neighbourhoods.

Drivers of the Information Age

Creating a Connected and Informed City is also vital to the interests of business in the City. Dublin
Chamber of Commerce issued a report in 2002 highlighting Dublin’s
progress as an e
City compared to
that of other major international cities. In focusing on the communications technology infrastructure that
connects the City with the world, the report emphasised the importance of ensuring that Dublin City has
an adequate

and lowcost telecommunications and digital media infrastructure and the electrical power to
turn it on. There are many positive features to Dublin’s progress towards being a world
class e
There are good support measures in place. There are many comm
itted people in senior positions in both
the government and the private sector who are driving the process forward. There are few, if any,
dissenting voices.

Despite that, there is no significant single champion, no clearly identified person or organisat
ion who
emerges as the driver of the overall process. The provision of broadband, hi
speed connectivity at a
reasonable cost to all homes, organisations and businesses will be essential to the economy and to
society. The slowness of the infrastructure prov
iders to deliver these levels of access reflects the current
limited market demand. This is mirrored by the slow pace of achieving the core objective of REACH,
namely the interactive availability of on
line access for citizens to statutory services. While
the current
OASIS initiative is a valuable and welcome development, it suffers from the limited ability offered to
conduct business with the state on
line and also, by the lack of access to this service in homes
throughout the City. The development of the
IT infrastructure by statutory bodies also needs to be driven
by increasing demand for such services from the public. This slowness in delivering services through
affordable and high
speed routes is itself an inhibiting factor in the development of eComme
rce. There is
a need for innovative initiatives to increase the access to ICT and digital media in communities, thus
generating an increasing demand for broadband and hi
speed access. Market lead demand will, more
than anything else, drive the telecom, tel
evision and cable providers to extend and upgrade their services,
creating a competitive telecommunications environment, encouraging new entrants into the market and
eventually reducing the cost to the consumer. It will also serve to drive the speed of dev
elopment of on
line public service provision and create the environment for sustainable business to business (B2B) web

3 9

a connected & informed city I

Social Exclusion

The Digital Divide

Tackling social exclusion in Dublin

City necessitates that individuals and communities that are
disadvantaged are enabled to participate fully in an information age. This requires that core skills of
computing, communication and use of digital media need to be enhanced through training and

The ability to navigate through information will be the new form of literacy in the 21st Century (Professor
Joyce O’Connor, President NCI). It also requires that schools and homes be networked in a way that
enables all young people to have equa
l access to information through the Internet. A great deal has been
done to equip schools with computers and to develop the skills of teachers. FÁS and the VEC have
begun to address the need to skill the adult population for the information age. Dublin Cit
y Council,
through its library network, has provided access to computers and the Internet. Considerable computer
resources that could be used to increase knowledge and develop skills are restricted due to the opening
hours of the various libraries, CICs, F
ÁS centres, schools and colleges. A co
ordinated drive is needed to
link these initiatives and seek to open up access to resources such as the Internet over longer periods of
the day and the week. In addition to the Government’s Action Plan for the develop
ment of an Information
Society, it proposes to develop a Universal Participation Initiative through the City & County Development
Boards that would:

1 Build upon the role of the Boards in bringing together budget
holders and decision
makers from the key
public service and local development agencies to work towards more integrated and holistic development
for the city.

2 Build upon the Community and Voluntary Fora established by the Boards to bring together the
community and voluntary organisations.

3 En
sure a structured and co
ordinated approach to e
inclusion objectives at local level.

4 Act as an integrated information resource for local community and voluntary groups.

5 Employ community champions and local supporters, under the remit of the Director

of Community &
Enterprise, to work with the various education, training, business, local development, and community &
voluntary interests to agree objectives, encourage engagement with ICTs, and create a shared sense of
purpose in Information Society deve

The Dublin City Development Board

The work and mission of the DCDB and its member organisations requires a Connected and Informed
City. The use of communications technology can be the most cost
effective way of ensuring that the
strategies agreed

by the DCDB are implemented, monitored, reviewed and implemented. The DCDB is
charged with a

number of responsibilities:

1 To develop and maintain a web presence that provides information and acts as a consultative
mechanism and encourages citizen and a
gencies to participate in the work of DCDB.

2 To conduct and maintain an audit of service provision and statistical data in the City.

3 To monitor and report on expenditure and activity of all agencies in respect of Social Inclusion
Measures (SIM) in th
e NDP. (This has been subsequently extended to RAPID)

4 To develop and maintain a comprehensive database of community & voluntary activity within the City.


Several Issues were brought to light during consultation including the following:

The necessity for broadband isn’t only a concern for large multinational companies

if broadband was
brought into our homes, tele
working would be a viable option, reducing the pressure on our roads, office
and enterprise space

_ Access to the internet
via telephone connection is slow and frustrating.

_ Older people are excluded from participating in the information age. How do we make sure no one is
left behind?

_ Older people are not as computer literate as the younger generations.

_ Internet acce
ss in public libraries needs to be upgraded.

_ The local authority should use TV and radio to inform people.

_ The Freedom of Information Act should be realised by all people

_ Access to information should be available to all people irrespective if they

are rich or poor.

_ There needs to be more information and policy feed back from all agencies.

_ The community media sector needs to be properly resourced.

_ Community media empowers communities to be heard.

4 0

a connected & informed city I www.dublin


The strategy focuses on:

_ The establishment of a Connected and Informed Commission for Dublin City. This shall be a sub
of the Board and will advise on the development of bridging initiatives, especially The
of an Internet/digital media portal for Dublin City that shall fulfil the role of a channel for

_ Facilitating the development of a vibrant, balanced, independent, not
profit and adequately
resourced community media sector in the City.

_ T
he empowerment of the community & voluntary sector to use and shape information content and to
develop interactive services in an information society environment.

_ The linkage and application of ICT to each theme covered by the DCDB Strategy such as Lear
Participation, etc. The Board and its agencies shall seek to promote the application of technology and the
use of to demonstrate how greater efficiency and relevance can be brought to the delivery
of services, especially health, learnin
g, and political participation within local communities.

_ Facilitating the development of affordable, high speed and always on ICT access and explore its
provision through cable, satellite and wireless solutions.

_ Facilitating everyone’s full participa
tion in the information society.

To achieve the above, certain objectives need to reached:

1 Developing Dublin as an eCity.

We will begin by developing as a focal point for directing people to existing information,
providing relevant neighb
ourhood information, facilitating the community and voluntary sector to use the

web/digital media etc. Through

a comprehensive database of community and voluntary
activity will be developed and maintained

so that people who wish to join groups in the City, keep in touch
with their network or find voluntary work in their neighbourhood can do so through this site.

Groups can currently avail of the free web space and email service on In time,
much of our
strategy will be realized through this channel. For example, information about consultation will be made

available, protected chat rooms for service providers working on shared caseloads and a learning market
place where people can plan their l
earning journeys for life will be developed. Within this shared virtual
space it should also be possible to develop theme ‘marketplaces’ which allow all stakeholders to shape
and share information, agree policy, build statistical data, participate in decis
ions, and "trade" in goods,
opportunities and services. It is a priority of the DCDB to fulfil this mission. This is a key bridging element
that affects all aspects of the strategy and is essential to assist the objectives of developing integrated

delivery, tackling social exclusion and promoting quality of life through economic, social and
cultural development. It is also important that all agencies active in the City support this core element of
the strategy. Each statutory agency has an obligati
on to independently and in accord with policy
pertaining to e

government and information provision to develop effective interfaces and back office
provision that informs the citizen and enables access to services through an accessible virtual space. The
CDB’s strategic position and direction is not dependent on, nor should it be subsumed within, the
developing ICT strategies of any one agency. Agency support for this initiative would involve the provision
of information, the active co
ownership of informa
tion shaping and updating, support for local
programming (voice, internet and visual) and the willingness to provide access to services through on

2 Information Gathering and Dissemination

There is a need to develop a social research functi
on that addresses data collection and analysis.

Strategically, agencies within the City must be committed to sharing information and data pertaining to
their services and operations. It is important, therefore, that a shared space be created which is secu
and into which agencies can share data and information. The DCDB, through the Office of Director
Community & Enterprise, has a vital role to play in managing information and data in the City. In
particular, this means agencies sharing information and ag
reeing on the type and regularity of information
to be gathered. Every individual is free to negotiate their way through the information that exists but there
is a role at a city level for an ‘e
broker’ to gather information that is relevant to stakeholder
s needs. At a
local level, bodies such as libraries and local newsletters fill this gap and representative bodies do this for
members but a gap currently exists at city level. IT provides us with the opportunity to create a ‘central
gateway’ that can direc
t people to relevant sites and provide information and services on
line. Critical to
guaranteeing relevance is the development of a social research function that addresses data collection
and analysis. Organising the information so that it is useful to s
takeholders e.g. providing on
line public
services, local neighbourhood information, interactive up to date information, etc. One of the most basic
requirements of service providers will be that all information is provided in a format that ensures it is
cessible to the end users.

As our society becomes more diverse and acknowledging the different intelligence types that we now
know exist, producing leaflets/booklets is no longer the only way in which service providers can
communicate with staff and clien
ts. If we view this requirement alongside the need to consult more with
stakeholders, it becomes apparent that there are benefits to sharing information using IT to interact with
people. The development of one central information point in the City would cu
t down on the duplication of
consultation and information gathering, assisting users in getting all information from one source. This will
require networking service delivery and localising access to information and services.

4 1

3 Empowering People to Ge
nerate, Access and Use Information

The Information Society

Strategy for Action report emphasised the importance of ensuring that the
Information Society caters for all citizens and avoids creating an ‘information rich’ and ‘information poor’
divide. Stra
tegically, the report focuses on five key areas of intervention: awareness, infrastructure,
learning, enterprise and government. Of critical importance is ensuring all people have the skills and
exposure to IT to be able to navigate through and interpret t
he information provided. We need to ensure
that by 2012 Dublin City has its own vibrant, independent and sustainable Community Media sector.
Community media is an important democratic counter balance to the growth of commercial media and the
influence of m
edia empires. In most of the developed world Community Media is recognised as a
legitimate media pillar.

This level of formal recognition has yet to be achieved in Ireland. Community Media is a means for
expression of different voices and cultures. It is
also a means for communication between cultures, and
these functions are particularly relevant in a changing society. Access to Community Media can be an

important element in the development of ethnic communities in Dublin. It allows such groups the
unity to maintain contact with cultural products of expression that are unique to their community,
while bridging the understanding and awareness gaps between themselves and the Dublin
neighbourhoods within which they live and work. It also provides people

with the opportunity to generate
and create information, to challenge, debate and question the status
quo. The Community Media sector
itself must rest upon a strong and vibrant community and voluntary sector that has the skills, knowledge
and capacity to

communicate through various interactive media. The sector needs proper resourcing in
order to sustain the current and

future media initiatives.

4 Developing the infrastructure.

Through industry and the member agencies of the DCDB it is vital that effect
ive telecommunications
infrastructure be rolled out in the City. This infrastructure should become the norm in new housing

developments and should be extended into every housing unit in the City over the decade. It should in
turn be complimented by the de
velopment of a community media and television infrastructure that permits
access by community groups to expertise and equipment that enable the provision of community based
and focused programming. These combined infrastructure networks should enable the d
evelopment of
education and learning across the City and should network and facilitate dialogue between schools,
homes, communities of place and interest, business, and opportunity, not simply in the City, but
throughout the world. Special attention must b
e given to ensuring that ethnic minorities, people who have
disabilities which currently restrict or prevent their use of technology and those whose access to ICT may
be hindered are provided with the necessary enabling technology and infrastructure. This
may mean the
provision of the hardware necessary to be a participant in the Information Society. A responsibility rests
upon the agencies handling social welfare, education, training and local development to ensure that
individuals are not isolated from th
e Information Age due to lack of affordable access to equipment and
service, lack of skills or inability to generate or distribute content.

Responsible business practise delivering on corporate responsibility to the community should support
financially t
hese types of social ICT contracts with all citizens. Creating a connected and Informed City is
the essential prerequisite to the economic, social and cultural development of Dublin. Understanding of
issues, of cultures and of challenges within the City re
quires knowledge and information. The ability to
influence decisions and participate in democracy requires a level of connection based upon knowledge
and interest. ICT is but a tool that is available within the information age for that end. While an import
tool within the context of time, travel and location pressures associated with modern city life, it can never
replace the human interface and the importance of personal and group interaction on a face to face basis.
We need to strengthen the opportunit
ies and networks wherein people meet, learn, become informed and
share in decision making. Creating a Connected and Informed City will contribute to that strengthening of
the human bonds and connections that make civic society work.

Toolbox item 11 (3

steps to a connected and informed city

1. ‘Dublin will be a city that harnesses the power of communications technology to connect and
inform people, create opportunities and tackle social cohesion’ In the boxes below give 4 ways how
it intends to

do each of these

1.1 Connect and inform people





1.2 Create opportunities





1.3 Tackle social cohesion





2. Dublin will become a world
class e
city. What do you understand by that term?

3. What does Dubli
n mean by the ‘Universal Participation Initiative? Why is it necessary?

4. Give 5 items in the job description of a ‘Community Champion’






5. How will Dublin ‘empower people’ through technology? Why is it important?

6. Name 4 physical

elements of the proposed Dublin infrastructure






Toolbox item 12

7. The following are the actions suggested in its strategy to convert Dublin into a connected and
informed city. In the boxes on the right say whether each is a high, low or me
dium priority in the
strategy for your city or region . H= high (already in process), M= medium (May be implemented in
next 3 years) L= Low

no plans to implement it just yet.





Develop, within the city website, interactive themed ‘market
s’ in which people will

exchange knowledge, resources, products and services


Develop a more "customer focused" service delivery require greater transparency and ease

of access to information


Use the city web
site to develop a single focal poin
t for information exchange in the City


Use the city web
site to integrate service delivery analysis on the basis of pooled information

between departments


Use the city web
site to strengthen communication within and between the voluntary and

statutory sectors


Use the city web
site to develop an independent, not
profit, sustainable community media

sector addressing community of interest and place


Use the city web
site to orovide ‘bottom
up’ independent information to complement


range of information available from commercial and state services


Use the city web
site to develop and project alternative views and information


Use the city web
site to enhance diversity at all levels


Use the city web
site to give
access to socially excluded groups and encompass

cultural diversity.


Empower all people in the City to access and utilize information to improve their quality of life.


Ensure all citizens have the competencies to work and participate in an in

technological "information" society


Develop leadership and the encourage initiatives that can ensure that your city/region becomes a
city Internationally renowned as an e
city/region of excellence


Develop as an e city wherein all
citizens can access and utilise ICT within homes, businesses,
voluntary organisations and state services


Establish a Social Research Function using the web and third level institutions to undertake

research and analysis of the social, economic and
cultural reality in the City.


Enable service providers to effectively integrate their service delivery both at city and

neighbourhood level


Develop and Provide a Consultation Resource Pack online through the city web


Develop Comm
unity Information Centres to disseminate information


Maintain up to date information on waiting times to be expected, numbers on waiting lists etc.

in respect of the various services such as health, local authority and telecommunications.


tablish linked community resource centres to link people and organisations


Facilitate consultation through technology


Encourages volunteering and participation through technology


Monitor implementation of strategy through technology


Facilitate marketplace interaction through technology


Develop full community participation in ICT


Conduct and maintain an audit of service provision and statistical data in the City


Develop and maintain a comprehensive database of

community and statutory activity within

the City.


Develop a comprehensive range of interactive market places where people can ‘do business’,

e.g., childcare, learning, knowledge
sharing etc.


Develop and resource an independent not
it Community TV Channel


Through the Community Media Forum increase the profile and competencies of the sector,
highlighting the benefits to a range of communities and communities of interest.


Develop and deliver a ‘Dublin at talk and play’ fe
stival each year to engage communities

in media and ICT related activities.


Develop and properly resource Community Media facilities and expertise at key locations in

the City, so as the communities can generate and create information as well as ha
ve access to it.


Network and properly resource Community Radio in the City.


Support Community Media through the identification of dedicated core funding for projects


Facilitate on line access for community and voluntary groups to the
internet and digital media

Through the city web


Encourage the development of city focused programming within national print, radio and TV


Advocate, research and monitor progress on the development of a low
cost telecom and

media infrastructure as well as the energy requirements to sustain them


Develop a ‘Contract for the Information Age’ between business, the state and communities

enabling the provision of appropriate infrastructure, skills and opportunities


Develop services in line with the technical capabilities of people in the City, e.g., begin with

TV based interaction then progress onto computer based as the saturation levels and

competencies increase


Facilitate the establishment of new
building regulations where high standards of ICT provision

are introduced as standard. Houses to be designed with teleworking in mind


Develop a Quality Mark (e
Q Mark) for the ‘e
readiness’ of buildings, community and public



rage all learning providers to focus on developing ICT skills of people in the city


Encourage all learning providers to focus on developing information navigation skills


Encourage all learning providers to focus on using IT in delivery of ser
vices in order to

maximise the number of people participating in life
long learning opportunities


Place particular focus on ensuring ICT access and skills in disadvantaged areas and schools


Increase involvement of the Community and Voluntar
y Sector in IT by facilitating them to

develop web pages on the city web
site and providing email to citizens


Develop community based skill interventions for key groups such as older people and

ethnic minorities


Through outreach programmes a
ssess, quantify and supply necessary technology to assist

people with special needs to use ICT to its full potential


Establish a Dublin City network of Citizen Information Centres (CICs )


Establish a Connected and Informed Commission that wo
uld Provide leadership

in e
city development


Address issues that prevent the development of e
business, e
commerce and e

services in the City.


Develop a network of socially committed ICT Initiatives with a common protocol of



Ensure that schools are well
equipped with up to date computer and communications



Ensure that all teachers are technology
literate through in
service courses


Ensure that all children know how to use computers and the
internet for educational purposes


Encourage the use of all aspects of technology, including satellite, in schools


Establish and resource a distance education delivery facility for all education establishments


Establish and resource
an educational software development group


Develop learning links between all school students and students from other

cultures and countries





7. In the blank spaces insert other high
priority uses of technology wi
thin your own city plan

8. What do you consider to be the 3 main advantages of the use of technology in the city and why?




9. What in your opinion are the 5 major priorities for your city in the area of technology usage?