These pages do not constitute policy, but at Ultralab we are working hard with Millennium Central and friends to make the vision of one eMail per pupil (see also Stevenson Report) a reality and this early exploratory paper helped begin the debate about detail. Read it in that light please. Announcement due early 1998.
What will they do?
Parents and Teachers
Some Questions and Answers
The idea of one email per child over the age of 9 is exciting and ambitious.
It immediately flags the "Millennium generation" as participants in the information age rather than simply watchers / consumers. It says much about the UK's commitment to lifelong learning and to the importance of the community, family and the extended family.
It makes a clear statement that as we move into the information age and the new millennium as a nation, we won't be leaving anyone behind.
"Can I visit 'our' mail server please?"
"Greenwich is where my email gets sorted."
The physical location of the main mail server/s should be in the heart of the Greenwich exhibition, with the opportunities for visits and (high-tech) guided tours there together with participative activities that involve children across the nation, adds a dimension of national access that answers some of the questions about the exhibition's location and gives a sense of ownership to the site.
Most of all it will be delightful for children. Get it right and we 'jump start' so much for them and the nation. This will cause a significant boost to the markets for service provision, for computer hardware, etc.; I suspect this document should for now be marked 'confidential'.
One email per child over the age of 9 is a small part of the broader picture that makes up the notional National Grid for Learning. This picture is complex, more so because the scale of the current provision is dwarfed by the consequences of 'one email per child'. The table below helps explain the components:
|The layer||What it does||Examples of who might supply it|
|Layer 1||The physical network: fibre optic, cable, radio and wire infrastructure that connects up all the users||BT, Cable and Wireless, Racal, Nortel, etc., etc.|
|Layer 2||Service provision: the people you pay to actually connect you to the Internet||BT, AoL, Demon, SuperJanet, CCA members, etc., etc.|
|Layer 3||Content: the images, papers, sounds and other media that flow around the 'grid' for users.||Publishers (OUP, OU, etc.), museums, galleries, BBC, BSkyB, small providers, public service, universities, ICL, etc., etc|
|Layer 4||Tools: the software and applications that enable users to participate (making, creating, using, doing) rather than simply watching looking and choosing.||We anticipate that a combination of the service providers (to demonstrate the value added of their service), the content providers ((to demonstrate a value added for their content) and the hardware / software manufacturers will offer various degrees of tool functionality|
|Layer 5||Hardware and software: the computers (and smart TVs etc.) and software browsers that the user works with to be connected to the Internet||RM, Xemplar, ICL, Microsoft, etc., etc.|
|Layer 6||An identity: the unique record of who you are that is necessary for individuals to be able to send email to you, or for you to use in response to others messages or in originating your own contributions (firstname.lastname@example.org)||Millenium Central (but remember that others see the identity as a key way to tie to individuals into any of the above services - emails are also offered by CyberCafes, service providers, cable operators, BT, everyone!|
|Layer 7||People!: without active users all the above is simply an expensive mistake. People need to use the physical network, pay for service provision, enjoy content, create with tools, purchase computers and identify with their identities.|