Technology, especially communications technology, has become such an integral part of our daily lives that many of us pretty much expect everyone to have some level of digital literacy. According to some recent statistics, however, that is not at all the case, and the divide can create a real issue for communities.
Increasing the level of digital literacy in your community can have many positive benefits and can make a real difference in the daily lives of your community members. Specifically, we think there are three primary ways that increasing your community’s overall digital literacy will improve the community as a whole: Jobs, Community Online Presence and Overall Economic Capacity.
Some level of digital literacy is required for almost every job in today’s economy, and most employers will assume some level of computer proficiency as a prerequisite. Many organization provide some free or extremely subsidized courses on basic computer skills, but depending on what the job situation is like in your area, that might not be enough. If part of your organization’s mission is to improve the economic condition of your community members, consider talking to nearby employers about what they consider prerequisite skills for entry-level positions. Finding training for those skills or offering it yourself can make a world of difference for your job seekers.
Community Online Presence
A community’s online presence is made up of many things, including content generated by individuals writing blog posts, posting in forums or commenting on national listing sites. Ideally, you’d want the people generating content about your community to be actual community members, but that’s not always the case. If your community is lacking in digital literacy, then the online content about it will come from outsiders, for example articles in local media (not always known for positive coverage) and forum posts by people with possibly outdated views and opinions.
Since people look online first for everything these days, including communities, it’s important that your community’s online presence is accurate and welcoming. Improving your community’s level of digital literacy will help accomplish that.
Overall Economic Capacity
Although local economies are very complex and dependent on external forces beyond your control, improving your community’s level of digital literacy can help ensure that some of the basic elements of it are strong.
Reducing unemployment and underemployment can increase the overall purchasing power of your community members, and since digital literacy is an important job skill, increasing the level of digital literacy can in that way can also improve your local economy.
Working with your local businesses on their digital literacy skills by doing things like social media training can make it easier for people to find your local businesses online, thereby bringing more money into the community.
Encouraging community members to generate positive online content about your community can put it on the online map, making it easier for people to learn about it and engage.
Is your community currently working on digital literacy issues, or are you considering implementing a new program? We’d love to hear about it!
Overall experience of Digital Literacy at Chautara (Shindhupalchok) of mine was great and always remarkable as well. I stayed in Rabindra Shrestha Dai home as a family member. We organized our Training at Red Cross Building along with American Nepal friendship society. There were total 45 participations, around 20 participations were government school/college principles and around 25 were local community’s members. Our small act from our side it was seemed to great. we are passionate to work on the field of Information, Communication and Technology (ICTs) and access our technology for every people either in city or in very remote area. please support us due to our steps.