Yesterday saw the launch of the newly formed Digital Inclusion Forum set up by the Technology Enhanced Learning Programme, which is funded by the ESRC and EPSRC and directed by Richard Noss here in the UK.
In 2008 BECTA‘s Disadvantaged Learners Report observed that the lack of a single voice in UK policy championing disadvantaged learners has led to unhelpful fragmentation – particularly in addressing digital disadvantage across education. Hopefully this Forum will help to draw together disparate resources and streams of research and practice to give more cohesion to those seeking to mitigate exclusion within technology enhanced learning.
The Digital Inclusion Forum has two key purposes:
- To identify key inclusion-related questions and issues for research into digital inclusion issues in education
- To discuss and evaluate the contribution that the TEL research programme can make to the digital inclusion research agenda.
According to Jane Seale, the group convener, there will be two main phases of activity:
- The first phase (May-November 2009) will be the development of an online space for sharing digital inclusion related resources, discussing inclusion-related issues and scoping priorities for digital inclusion research. It is hoped the online space will be a platform for the collaborative writing of a web-based document that starts to draw together what the key issues are in relation to digital inclusion research.
- The second phase (December 2009-September 2010) will involve the setting up of a commentary group who, drawing on the web-based document will co-author a TEL branded publication which offers a commentary on digital inclusion research and highlights the contributions of the TEL projects to the field.
The forum welcomes input, with invitations being issues specifically around contributions to an emergent Digital Inclusion Reference Library and posts to the new discussion forum.
To add any digital inclusion references that you think are relevant and make a significant contribution to the field visit: http://www.tlrp.org/tel/tools/digital_inclusion_references.html
To add to a conversation thread or post a response on the Discussion Forum visit: http://www.tlrp.org/tel/digital_inclusion/forum/digital-inclusion/
The forum also notably draws on blogs and other resources tagged with ‘digitalinclusion’. This marriage of expertise and materials will hopefully accrue into a valuable resource for everyone working to achieve access and equity in technology enhanced learning.