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ERIC Number: EJ877298
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
Where Now for ICT and Adult Learning?
Selwyn, Neil; Gorard, Stephen
Adults Learning, v16 n3 p8-10 Nov 2004
Over two and a half years, the authors conducted a detailed survey of 1101 adults in England and Wales, 100 follow-up interviews and year-long case studies of 25 families. The data have led them to construct a rich and often thought-provoking picture of how adults are using information and communications technologies (ICTs) in their day-to-day lives. The research suggests that a "digital choice" rather than a "digital divide" often lies behind people's failure to learn with ICTs. The authors found that a lot of adults expressed no need for, desire for, or interest in learning--despite acknowledging that there are now many potential opportunities to do so. It was clear from their interviews with learners and non-learners that there is a need to rethink and revamp the use of ICTs in formal adult education. The findings of this study suggest that shifting the balance in favour of policies and initiatives concerned with encouraging later participation in education could be a more efficient and cost-effective way of encouraging more learning to take place. An encouraging finding from their project was the considerable amount of "informal" learning through computers and the internet which was taking place "below the radar" of the formal education system. The authors are calling for a little more realism when it comes to approaching adult learning in the information age. Whilst it is understandable for governments and technologists to downplay the conflicts and complexities involved, the authors argue that a naive optimism is of little benefit in achieving the effective integration of ICTs into adult education.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)