The internet is now of increasing importance, both in professional and private settings. Therefore tackling digital illiteracy is of utmost importance for a well-functioning society.
Even though Ireland’s latest scorecard from the EU Commission published for 2012 shows significant improvements in terms of internet use, digital engagement and the increase in regular internet usage since 2010, there are still many people who lack basic digital skills and require some further training. At least one in five Irish adults have never used the Internet before.
To help them, a new initiative has been created by Community Ireland and IBM Ireland. The website Socialcomputing.ie was set up in order to help users to deal with the online world. Instructions are split into nine categories: “Getting started”, “Keeping in touch”, “Travel”, “Community”, “Newspapers, Radio and TV”, “Entertainment, Sports and Hobbies”, “Shopping”, “Money matters”, “Health and Welfare”. On the website the project describes itself as “a roadmap which aims to make finding things simple”.
“The internet provides a great portal for communication and keeping in touch with the world. However, for people unfamiliar with it, it can seem very daunting, a labyrinth of endless information. This website provides a simple step by step guide to new users and takes away the element of fear or anxiety about where to start when exploring the internet,” explains Tina Roche, CEO of Business in the Community Ireland.
Anyone interested in using this site will be delighted to hear that there is no need to register first.
There is also another project called “Get Ireland online” (www.getirelandonline.ie) which was launched in October 2011. 36% of those who have used this website were at least 65, 24% were job-seekers, 7% had a disability. What is also important is the fact that the people who were trained could now train others and pass on what they have learned. So there you have it, tackling digital illiteracy has never been easier with these new project! That’s all from 4pm, don’t forget to check back later in the week to see what we have to say!