Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Increasing digital literacy means better chances and more opportunities for people

Have you ever thought about the people who will not read this paragraph, who don't stay in touch through e-mail, who don't know there might be jobs advertised online for them, don't buy cheaper their children clothes...and all of the other tools that help you make your life better?

--- Posted by Katarzyna Balucka-Debska, DG INFSO, Project Officer ICT for Inclusion, Workshop organiser at the Digital Agenda Assembly

If you are reading this message, this means you are digitally literate. Congratulations! You not only have access to a computer and an Internet connection, but also possess the skills to find the information that you need and to participate actively in the digital world. You most likely use those skills at your job, or can use them to find one. In short, you belong to the 70% of the people in Europe, who are "e-Included".

But have you ever thought about the people who will not read this paragraph, who don't stay in touch through e-mail, who don't know there might be jobs advertised online for them, don't buy cheaper their children clothes...and all of the other tools that help you make your life better? But why would you care anyway? Because Information Society can really mean that everybody has a better chance. Because digitally driven economy can only function well if all customers know and buy smart services.

So how can an individual, an organization, a community, or a government help integrate the digitally illiterate in the global eSociety? At the Digital Agenda Asssembly, the workshop n°20 "Digital Literacy and eInclusion" will try to answer these questions and demonstrate what tools and programmes for increasing digital literacy are in use today.

You can follow discussions and share your ideas on Twitter using the #daa11literacy  hashtag!


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Dear readers, In addition to the solutions of the traditional digital literacy issues, Workshop 20 will also venture into the discussion on increasing the digital capabilities of the main drivers of the European economy, the small and medium enterprises. To that end, one of our presenters, Kieran O'Hea, has created this survey  - It deals with the relationship between digital technologies and workplace productivity. The objective is to learn more about digital capability and its impact on competitiveness. The results will be presented at the DAA. Please take a couple of minutes to provide us with your input! Kind regards, Katarzyna Balucka-Debska
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The main issue I have is that a very static definition of digital literacy and digital capability are maintained. The needs of citizens involve much more than just literacy or capability. The focus of literacy and capability is on the availability and use of technology which is very narrow and does not actually address the users and their needs.  Particularly this concerns the transformation of the 'digital' into the realms of networking, participation and communication. This 'social' trend implies that we need to use the digital, but also we need a greater awareness of the fact that the digital positions in a particular location (geo-referenced) and that we are able to link, network and communicate using the myriad of tools and technologies that allow us to be literate technologically, socially and in a participative context. Therefore, we prefer the concept "spatial citizenship"  which implies technological, communicative and participative competences, so that the person is able to engage with and  be involved in society. It allows the citizen to develop a feel for their place in that society and how they can contribute to it. It is more 'affective' in nature and connects to the role and actions of the citizen. How we connect to place is critical. Link to our paper:
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Citizens Online have two programmes to promote Digital Inclusion: - a £3m pan UK DI programme in partnership with BT (Get IT Together and the Nominet Trust) - Fix the Web - a crowd sourcing approach to web accessibility, which has had funding from ourselves and the Nominet Trust We are seeing a lot of money spent at "higher levels" on discussing / debating DI and promotion of organisations and very little money reaching grass roots organisations / a decimation of the community and voluntary sector. Please volunteer for fix the web, become a partner, encourage people to report web accessibility issues! Encourage domain name registering organisations to promote web accessibility every time a new website is created. Look at and address the links between general literacy and digital inclusion best gail (@fixthewebgail)
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"Social media is becoming the next go to for every people that need communication and it also increases the speed with which the news are shared online." please consider also the graal marketing the "viral messages" in your futures workshops. :)
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That is an opportunity and I will take if. For sure I will see improvements.

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