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There are a few prejudices that should be posted towards the start of this document. These prejudices colour the document and our conclusions about the contribution a GridClub might make. We believe:
  • in a model of learning where children learn through doing rather than simply watching or selecting;
  • in an Internet that is as much about communication and contribution as it is about publishing and dissemination;
  • that the new opportunities offered to children by ICT are exactly that;
  • we believe that it is important to look at the limits that old technology imposed (which may now be diluted) and to look at the new capabilities that children will need to become creative and effective citizens, employees, entrepreneurs and parents.

In our research we looked at existing on-line activity, spoke to teachers in a spectrum of schools, to children and parents - not just in the 7 - 11 age group but also those older children involved in experimental on-line learning projects who offered a valuable input - and to those managing on-line learning projects around the world including here in the UK . The conveyor belt of technology hurtles forward and we have tempered our report with a careful look at technology futures in as much as they impact on this age group and on on-line communities and learning institutions. Our conclusions significantly impact on our recommendation. We have tempered all this with the things we ourselves know in Ultralab about technology and learning in this age group.

Distilling all this to a readable form means much is said bluntly that could be sumptuously padded, but blunt gets read and is appropriate to the task in hand.

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