A group of heavyweight IT companies have pledged support for a nationwide campaign to eliminate the educational disadvantages suffered by an estimated two million children on the "wrong side" of the UK's so-called digital divide.
Equity was officially launched by Estelle Morris, chairman of the E-Learning Foundation, at the charity's E-Learning Unlimited conference in London today.
The organisation aims to increase awareness among schools of the practical steps they can take to address the digital divide.
While schools are better equipped than ever before, the variation in the quality of learning that takes place at home is huge, according to Equity.
As children only spend 15 per cent of their lives at school, the learning that takes place in the home is extremely important to their future success.
The charity noted that access to computing technology at home has been proven significantly to influence educational outcomes. Yet low income families are five times less likely to own a computer than high income families.
At the same time, while there is a growing preference for portable technologies within schools, fewer than 20 per cent of schools loan computers for home use.
"I am delighted to be involved in the digital divide campaign to ensure that every school is made aware of what steps it can take to address the digital divide as it affects local children, and provide a range of opportunities for ICT suppliers, government agencies, charities and other organisations to make a contribution," said Morris.
"To achieve the maximum impact we need a wide range of organisations to participate and make a contribution. Together we really can make a difference to the lives of our young people."
Stephen Uden, head of citizenship, programmes and relationships, public sector, at Microsoft, added: "Given the extensive opportunities for learning opened up through technology, it is vital to ensure that everybody has full access to its benefits."
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