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01 Sep 2008

The Open University and local libraries are Bridging the Digital Divide

Bridging the Digital Divide

Bridging the Digital Divide

The Open University has launched a new project aimed at encouraging OU students in 10 locations around the UK to gain access to new and advanced computer technology at participating libraries or online centres.

Bridging the Digital Divide aims to ensure that students are able to benefit fully from the University’s use of e-learning and online communications as key parts of the student learning experience.
Students who do not have a computer with internet access at home or have difficulty accessing a family computer will benefit the most.

The pilot scheme provides access to computers and knowledgeable staff who can provide advice and support to students in getting into StudentHome, the OU’s online portal, submitting assignments, joining online forums and conferences, etc.

Will Swann, Director, Students at The Open University and project leader for Bridging the Digital Divide said: "We are using leading edge technology to give our students the best possible learning experience. But being open to all is fundamental for the Open University, and that means making sure no one is excluded from the opportunity for higher education that we offer because they can’t get online.

"Bridging the Digital Divide is about working in partnership with local services to make sure we remain open to all."

The locations for the pilot project are Penzance, Bristol, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Liverpool, Blackburn, Derby, Leicester, Bedford, Redditch and Kington.

The six-month pilot schemes are underway and it is hoped that the project will be expanded further across the UK in 2009.

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