Education: Teachers to learn computer skills

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The Independent Online
Every teacher will receive training in information and communications technology through a pounds 235m package announced by the Government yesterday.

Ministers believe that two-thirds of the country's 450,000 teachers know less about computers than their pupils.

David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education, gave details of the package, which is funded by the National Lottery, at the British Training and Technology Exhibition in London.

He also launched the first contents of the National Grid for Learning, which include a "Virtual Teachers' Centre" and a database set up by the Government's Schools Standards and Effectiveness Unit on an Internet website.

The teachers' centre has teacher training material for all National Curriculum subjects, and the database aims to show teachers examples of methods which are successful in raising standards.

Eventually, the database will contain educational computer software, developed mainly by private companies.

Last year, the Prime Minister announced a pounds 100m fund for schools to buy computers and software to ensure that every school is connected to the Internet by the year 2002.

Several schools have been using the website in a pilot scheme run by the National Centre for Educational Technology in Coventry.

Chris Thatcher, head of Potters Green primary school, Coventry, said the website was an invaluable time saver. At present, teachers could spend hours finding material for lessons."It could be useful if you needed to develop work on a particular part of the curriculum, cutting out the lengthy process of having to write worksheets."

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