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In the article "Adults use of computers and the Internet for self -education" Neil Selwyn, Stephen Gorard and John Furlong investigate the importance of information technologies particularly the computer and internet for adult self-education. As nowadays people can get a great deal of information related to different fields benefiting from technology. Computer and Internet seem to be one of the most important innovations that changed peoples' life. Education is an area that has been affected by this new technology which is playing a significant role in the learning society and lifelong learning. Subsequently, the educational process began a new era and changed forever. So, it is useful for educationalists to show consideration towards technology based self education.
In this research, the authors aimed to provide further evidence on a number of specific points: First, the role of computer and internet for adult self education. Next, the reasons behind adult participation in technology based education or not and finally the social classification of adult based technologies self education. Relying on the research which based on surveys, interviews and along case study the authors achieve their conclusion. They obtain that adults use the computer and internet to maintain or support their pervious ideas and information rather than to start learn new knowledge.
The authors began their article by illustrating the importance of self education in the learning society based on the definition of self education which is the process in which the individuals depends on themselves to acquire knowledge. They be in agreement that self education concept is different from informal learning in the way of receiving information. Informal learning can be received cooperatively such as work -related activities whereas self education based on the person independence within the learning progression. Using computer and internet are beneficial way for facilitating self education. Today, the internet tends to be a major source for information and data used by individuals. People can get an access to a huge amount of data in more efficient and comfortable way which increases the chances for self education. In fact, the information that they began their article with is a general evidence. They used a research method to address their consideration.
The research method consisted of three stages. The first stage is door to door survey for 1001 adult. The criteria of the individual selection based on their gender, age above 21 living in different area in the west of England and South Wales. The questions were related to educational and work related life, their recent and past use of internet and computer for learning.
In the second stage which is semi-structured survey, they expand the criteria of the selection to include age, class, geography and ethnicity with different educational background and levels of technology use. The reason for this expansion according to the authors related to the nature of self education which is extremely individual style of activity. In this stage, the researcher interviewed a hundred participants from the first survey in order to search out the elements that persuaded adults to use or not use the computer and internet for self education.
After that, the final stage which is a yearlong case study of the individuals from the previous stage. The purpose of this study according to the authors is to obtain information about the position of these technologies in their daily life.
After analysis the survey data the authors achieve the results to their main investigation in this paper. First, they used the first survey data regarding to the role of computer and internet for self education. They found that adult tend to use them for informal learning more than formal learning for example, in work-related activities or personal interest to learn something. According to their research, the personal characteristic can affect adult use of computer and internet for self education such as the educational background and the accessibility to the internet. Then, they used the in-depth interview data regarding to the reasons of adult participation in technology -based self -education or not. Based on the research study, the reasons can be different from person to person as regards to their motivation, nature of learning and their life conditions. They may interest in workplace or household related self education.