As digital split and digital literacy have entered into deliberations by policy makers – the term Digital Inclusion is still rather new. Importantly, “digital inclusion” has been articulated specifically to address opportunity, access, awareness, and skill. Discussion around the digital split tends to spotlight on the access accessible to individuals, Digital Inclusion is about the need of the community as a whole. In short, digital inclusion is a framework for evaluating and considering access to opportunities in a digital age.
The ubiquity of the Internet cause challenges and chance for individuals and communities alike. These challenges and opportunities have not been evenly distributed. Digital knowledge has opened new domains and leaving some populations remote from the vast digital world. Users are now content creators as much as they are content consumers.
Achievement in the increasingly digitized world requires an inclusive approach to fostering inclusion. Digital Inclusion brings together computer hardware, internet access, information technologies, and digital literacy in method that promote achievement for communities and individuals trying to navigate. Computer hardware and in particular laptops donations are essential steps in providing digital access to those most socially and digitally excluded.
Digital inclusion has three broad facets: access, adoption, and application. These facts show the final goal of create digitally inclusive society.
Access: Ease of use, affordability, design for inclusion, and open access.
Adoption: Relevance, digital literacy, and consumer safety.
Application: Economic and workforce development, education, health care, public security and urgent situation services, civic appointment, and social associates.
In order to get these goals, libraries promote Digital Inclusion, in four significant ways:
By providing that free access to public access technologies in their communities.
By providing access to a variety of digital happy to their community.
By providing digital literacy services that assist individuals navigate, understand, evaluate, and create digital content by a variety of information and communications technologies.
By providing programs and services about key society need areas such as health and wellness, education, employment and workforce development, and civic appointment.
The Digital Inclusion research documents cover the extent to which libraries have met the challenges posed by digital technology. As libraries have completed, much to adapt to both the vast technological and social changes ushered in by the Internet above the past two decades, much more work remains for the future.
Libraries are becoming key societal platform for Digital Inclusion – one that is critical in surmounting the gap in digital equity and literacy while at the same time moving communities forward (see our Digital Inclusion issue brief for more details, including data from the Digital Inclusion Survey).