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måndag 5 december 2011

Digital inclusion: Pulling not pushing

More wisdom from "The Internet Days".

Ellen Helsper, Lecturer in Media and Communication Department from the London School of Economics and Political Science talked at Internetdagarna about digital inclusion of vulnerable groups.The lecture was based on the results and observations from her research on governmental programs for digital inclusion in England.

Digital inclusion can be understood as the interaction between four factors in continuous development and change:
  1. Access: Mobility, ubiquity, privacy 
  2. Skills: technical, social, critical, creative 
  3. Motivation: Societal, personal 
  4. Engagement: Civic, educational, social, economic, cultural 
    In spite of growing access to computers and Internet in the UK, the emerging "digital underclass" is actually growing. This underclass is highly represented by low educated and unemployed.The reason? research shows that people outside the digital world are not really interested in getting in. They don´t see the purpose. Motivation is lacking. Skills are not improving. Programs for digital literacy lack engagement. Helsper proposes that people should be engaged by making technology relevant in their lives. This means changing the strategy from "pushing", or forcing technology into peoples lives by intervention",  to "pulling", integrating technology into people´s life depending on their needs. This lecture was part of Digidel, a campaign to increase digital inclusion in Sweden. Digital literacy is a subject very dear to my heart. I have worked  before as a volunteer in a project called Internet for Alla. If you speak swedish and you have the time and interest to teach basic computer and Internet skills to someone who needs it, get in touch with them!

    1 kommentar:

    1. That's very interesting. In fact, I just sent an email to a master's student of mine writing here theses about "the poorest users of the Internet". She's on her way to Mexico in a week to collect material for her master's thesis...