MILLENNIUM AWARDS SCHEME APPROVED

Following the recent visit by Lord Dalkeith and the subsequent meeting of the Millennium Commissioners, the proposal for the ‘Open University and Living Archive Millennium Awards Scheme’ has been approved (subject to contract). A grant of approximately UKP 0.7million has been offered for the Scheme by the Millennium Commission.

The Culture, Media and Sport Secretary of State, Chris Smith (also a Millennium Commissioner) said “Through these Schemes the Millennium Commission is investing in the grass roots of society where people have the energy, passion and commitment to make a difference where it matters most – in their community.”

The purpose of the Scheme is to provide parents with children at school the opportunity to realise personal aspirations relating to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Groups of parents (usually 5) will form CLUTCH Clubs. These groups will work on community history projects using ICT to both develop and present a wide range of projects that illustrate the history of their local community. The outcomes of the projects will be published on the Web.

Parents with little or no experience of ICT will be encouraged to apply for awards. The Scheme is scheduled to commence in 1999 and, during a 3 year period, 300 parents with children in schools within about 25 miles radius of Milton Keynes will receive training and support from the ‘OU and LA Training and Support Centre’ located in the Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute . They will have access to high quality equipment and facilities, and a workstation that will be located in the school where their children attend.

The project will be led by Professor Tom Vincent MBE, IET/KMi, The Open University, and Roger Kitchen, The Living Archive . Professor Vincent is seen in the photograph with a parent, Mrs Alexander, who has aspirations to update her skills in searching for historical information, gain new ICT skills, and gain a greater understanding of her children’s work at school. She is seen here with Stuart and Jane who are demonstrating the Mars Buggy which is used at Heronsgate School within the control technology part of the curriculum.

The Scheme will be launched in 1999 when full details of how parents can apply will be circulated.