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  • Digital divide? (Score:2, Interesting)

    The second one is to sponsor a computer and internet connection for all households under a certain revenue level that have a child in secondary school (15-18 years old) in order to reduce the digital divide and to gradually replace the Minitel.

    (Warning: this is not articulate. Just points for discussion. That's something we could discuss at some meeting, maybe?)

    Don't you think the so-called "digital divide" is just another buzzword in the general "France is lagging behind" trend? I suppose cheap terminals in homes is less stupid than computers in school, but still... Anyway, giving Minitels away was a very good idea, and it's cool to see it carried on.

    As for computers in school, I think it's stupid. Period. That's where you'll best see the so-called "digital divide": kids with a computer at home will probably rate better than the other (poorer?) ones. And if the people who want computers in school really think that stuff needs to be learned so soon, they are wrong.

    Did we learn how to use a telephone or a TV set at school? A VCR? A hammer? No. Why? These are tools, built to be usable by the largest audience. (OK, computer are not quite there yet, but manufacturers should work harder on this. Look at how easy to use was the minitel, for example.) They are (or will be) part of our everyday life. That's how everyone see them in the future: ubiquitous. The people that most want computers in school are mesmerized by software and hardware dealers. Or they are the dealers themselves. That's all. Later you can learn about the "professional tools", as a hobby or because of the trade you have chosen.

    The very cool thing about French education is that we are taught general matters, such as history, math, foreign languages... until at least 14 (18 in general). You don't learn about the specifics of your future carrier until later. By then, you are able to have a broader view on things (hopefully). I think this is a Good Thing.

    Think how many books the budget for one computer can buy. If kids know how to look for information in books, library, they will easily learn how to look for it on the internet. The keyword is "learn how to search", not library or computer.


    Well, uh, sorry about that. It's just that I can't stand the words "digital divide". ;-)

    • I don't know if I made the point clear in my journal, and anyway that point was vastly clarified in an amendment made at yesterday's meeting. Here are a few (inarticulate as well ;-) clarifications:

      Digital divide was my word, not that of the program. I had a look at a few numbers yesterday and the main point on which France is lagging is in equipment of households. For the rest, France is doing either as well or better than other european countries. What I meant by digital divide is exactly what yo


      -- Robin Berjon []