Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Cut off from the Internet

Yesterday because of a problem with my server,I couldn’t get on the Internet let alone Blog. I did have the option of using my local library, which due to a building extension now has excellent computer and internet resources but felt a day couldn’t harm me.

I was wrong about that. I was frustrated by the end of the day and it made me realise how dependant I am on my computer and the Internet.

As someone looking for employment I really need to lookup not only the ditrctgov website but employment agencies on a daily basis.

I also need to have my CV available and in Word because although there are cheaper word processing alternatives if you need to email the CV you really need Word because that’s what employers use.

My computer is nearly 10 years old and I only switched from Windows Millennium last year and it will not be cost effective to upgrade to Vista. I am saving for a new computer with a view to buying a new computer in 2011 or 2012. Bearing in mind support for XP ends in 2014.This I consider to be absolutely vital.

But what of those who don’t have access to a computer? Or have no Broadband connexion? Access to a computer is as vital to us now as access to a telephone 10-20 years ago.

As a student in Coleg Harlech in (1984-1986) because of my appalling handwriting and spelling. I was the first student to use the colleges computer to write my essays, which increased my marks by about 10%.

I suppose some will decry this as letting standards slip and we should concentrate on the 3Rs and handwriting skills, but I was a product of that and it affected my education when I failed to measure up with my handwriting and poor spelling. I am sure if I had access to modern computer faculties I would have done much better academically.

That is why I applauded Plaid's plan to give free laptops to 10 and 11-year-olds, but we need to look at the education gap that access to a computer causes in all areas of education.

I believe pupils should have free access to the internet. This could be carried out by the Welsh Assembly’s Education department which could set up an agency to do so by creating a sever providing intenet facilities  restricted to areas of the Internet which will aid them in their education. This would be supported by parents who would be worried about their children accessing Adult sites for example.

We must ensure no one falls behind or fails to realise their potential because they cannot what is now a simple thing as a computer.

One day being cut off from the internet has shown this.


  1. It might be worth looking at what a poor region of Spain have done -
    Extremadura is the poorest region of Spain, yet they have installed public broadband with public access in every town. A good example of enabling a remote community to benefit from technology and at the same time build the skills base of the population.

    Also which is free can save in Microsoft Word format.

  2. Not a problem, and of course as they have chosen an open source route they are saving millions every year and are not locked into the monopolist embrace of Microsoft.