Digital inclusionJuly 28th, 2015
Digital inclusion is intended to empower communities so they have the ability to access and use technology to increase their opportunities and improve their lives.
In the UK, CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) identified Digital Inclusion as a significant campaign to support during their 2015 Electionwatch. Read more about their efforts on the CILIP website,which also includes a useful infographic outlining the main statistics to justify support for digital inclusion.
Interestingly, although the concept of Digital Inclusion is not new, it has seen a renewed emphasis with a social media drive to collect and map all the digital inclusion projects across New Zealand launched at the recent NetHui in Auckland.
Libraries play a key role in contributing to Digital Inclusion by engaging community members and providing programmes. A wonderful example of this can be seen in this video featuring Nichole Pinkard founder of the Digital Youth Network (DYN) in Chicago where students learn, mentor, teach, and create digital content, which contributes to their portfolio and skill set. Of particular interest, is Nichole’s commentary about the ethnography they carried out and the ‘so what’ aspects of the DYN. A key collaborator in this programme is the Chicago Public Library and the formation of YouMedia youth spaces in 11 locations throughout the city. This idea really encompasses what libraries in the 21st century are all about, a convergence of print, digital, creativity, knowledge, sharing, learning and fun.
School libraries are in a prime position to contribute facilities, resources, ideas, and skill sets that can contribute to the digital literacy and citizenship of their school communities. This might culminate in a makerspace, digital literacy programme, code club, and any number of formal or informal programmes and events. Great opportunities exist to form collaborative partnerships with public libraries and community groups to establish where the school library can contribute to digitally inclusive programming.
What’s currently happening in your school to address the Digital Inclusion challenge?
In 2007 Futurelab published ‘Beyond the digital divide: rethinking digital inclusion for the 21st century (PDF)’
Image: Matrix reloaded by phsymyst on Flickr