Teaching new media composition studies in a lifelong learning context
The government 'spin' on lifelong learning, as expressed in the Green Paper, The Learning Age (DfEE, 1998), and taken forward in the White Paper, Learning to Succeed (DfEE, 1999), emphasizes knowledge acquisition, skills development and student-centred flexible education and training. The aim of the government, as expressed in the summary document, Education and Training Development Agenda 2000-2001, is to 'help develop a "learning society" in which everyone, in whatever circumstances, routinely expects to learn and upgrade skills throughout life' (DfEE, 1998). Central to this idealistic notion is the view that continuous updating in ICT skills will play a vital part in the self-empowerment of individual learners. In support of this vision the government is funding ventures such as the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Learning Centres initiative - 'a new programme designed to help bridge the gap between those in society who have access to ICT and those who do not' (DfEE, 1999). Community Access to Lifelong Learning is a parallel New Opportunities Fund programme which is designed to encourage adult learning. It focuses on improving access to learning opportunities through the use of ICT.