The UK's Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, recently published a report on the use of the Internet in the UK. The Manifesto for a Networked Nation makes interesting reading.
Her manifesto is simple: by the end of the current parliament, everyone of working age should be online and no-one should retire without web skills. She points out the size of the challenge - 10 million adults in the UK have never used the Internet. These are primarily the socially disadvantaged and the elderly.
The report also points out that far from being anti-social, the Internet "can provide a lifeline from social isolation". It also extols the use of the Internet for learning and points out that it provides opportunities to re-engage with learning for "those who have had bad experiences of institutions". She concludes by stating: "The disadvantages of being offline are becoming too great".
SQA is looking at ways we can contribute to the initiative. Qualifications such as Internet Safety are already available but it may be that we need to look at our portfolio to check if the specific demographics mentioned in the report are catered for.
There is a dedicated website for the initiative.