Making practical progress on digital engagement and inclusion
Partner research papers
With over three quarters of people online at home and nearly half of people accessing the internet on their smartphones, citizens expect more innovative use of technology in public service delivery. The government is making progress on delivering mainstream digital public services. It is challenging, however, to provide an excellent and accessible service for all citizens - including the over eight million people who have never used the internet. This report is about what happens around the margins of digital government:
I suppose it’s fitting for a project that’s about celebration that I’ve found Celebration 2.0 to be something of a rollercoaster ride, to use a terribly hackneyed cliché. From Roller Derbies to the launch of a Community Health project, I’ve been part of some really diverse events, helping to bring them to wider audiences through live video streaming and social media amplification. And, as the project nears its last lap, it’s pretty much time to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learned so far.
But, sorry to tease, I’m not going to talk about it at all today…In this blog, I’m going to give an overview of research looking at differences in access to internet information. My broader research looks at the ways students use talk to think about what knowledge they need to solve problems, and then actively attempt to address those problems. I’ll write more specifically on that topic as I go on, but today I’ll focus on the problem of finding information:
Yesterday I gave a brief introduction to how I think about the research process.
Today I want to give a (briefer) overview of what that means for a particular study. I talked before about measuring ‘success’ in search engine tasks – and that’s one part of my study. But my main interest is in the reasons for differences in success, on a sociocultural level. So, rather than asking “does this group have access to information”, we also need to ask “can this group use the information they have, effectively”. Part of that will involve looking at skills, part about how they’re supported – by friends, family, professionals, part about structural issues for example, if they need to travel to a job interview, can they afford to do so.
Despite a variety of educational and other initiatives, some 8.7 million people in the UK are still digitally excluded. More than half of those are individuals aged over 65, who have never used the internet. Now a new project is looking to evaluate the impact of initiatives to get people online – and how that ultimate goal might be best achieved.
Helping older people acquire essential internet skills for enhanced social and community involvement
A groundbreaking project launched by Age UK North Craven is aiming to bring people of different ages together while also increasing the number of older people able to use the internet in the local community.
Supported by Nominet Trust, and working in partnership with local schools, the library service and other organisations, Age UK North Craven is looking to provide safe and friendly environments in which individual, supported learning can take place.
SLLP set to inspire individuals to get involved in decision-making and social action for their communities
A new project to deliver innovative information technology learning to local residents in Surrey is aiming to create an army of ‘digital citizens’.
With our investment, Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership is launching a three-year project to enable approximately 1,000 local residents who have low qualifications, are out of work or are vulnerable in some way to benefit from the internet, social networking and computers in general. It is hoped the project will help to create ‘digital citizens’ with enhanced employability and life chances.
Screenreader.net develops My Web Guides to help visually impaired computer users access essential online services
Screenreader.net founders Roger and Margaret Wilson-Hinds firmly believe that web learning should be free to everyone with little or no sight.
Opening up access to online services
With the support of Nominet Trust, this husband and wife team, have developed a series of free web guides to help visually impaired computer users access the online services that sighted people take for granted.
Roger is excited by the results of the My Web Guides project so far: