Engaging with social media

Tuesday’s Belfast Telepgrah Business has an interesting article on engaging with social media.  It has found that social networking has overtaken email in popularity and that two-thirds of those who go online visit a social networking site.

So why is this important?  Well, if that is where your customers/clients/learners are then you may need to be there as well if you wish to engage with them.

People are now using the digital world to connect and to obtain what they need on information, ideas, and products from each other instead of from companies.

Consumer decisions are now being driven by personal recommendations shared through the social networking medium.

Twitter is an example of this new social networking medium.  We have seen how it has been used recently in Iran and how it could even influence movie audiences.

Therefore being media literate provides you with the awareness and knowledge to effect change in your own small way and to benefit from it as well.

The article concludes by stating that businesses or any organisation that wishes to embrace this new medium should have a good strategy in place.

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Digital Britain: Implications for adult learners and providers

NIACE are organising an event on the 24th of July in Leicester to discuss the Digital Britain report.

Aim:

… to air both the opportunities and challenges for adult learners that NIACE has identified within the Digital Britain report.

Audience:

… anyone with a professional or personal interest in the impact of digital technologies on the future of adult learning in Britain – including adult learning practitioners across all sectors, policymakers and opinion-formers, strategists and managers.

To find out more or book a place visit the NIACE events page.

Public want services online

A recent report states that the public want public serivces online in five years.

Most are fed up having to queue, make trips or wait for hours on the phone with 84% saying it would save them time and 60% believing that they would have easier access to essential services if they were moved online.

Surprising 43% had not heard about the Digital Britain report.  The expectation is this will lead to more efficient access to these services.

Full story can be found on the Guardian Public website.

Digital Life Skills

The Digital Britain report took into account another review published at the same time by Baroness Estelle Morris,  entitled ‘Independent Review of ICT User Skills‘, which proposes an ‘entitlement’ to digital life skills and calls for basic computing skills training (in England) as well as a focused strategy to address the gaps.

The term ‘Digital Life Skills’ is used to identify the set of basic ICT skills that an adult needs to safely access and communicate information online.

digital skills have an impact on an adult’s equality of access to information and services, employability, social inclusion, engagement in further learning, and on wider business productivity.

(Executive Summary)

Baroness Estelle Morris stated:

The importance of ICT skills to the economy and in employment is well known; the role it plays in access to information and services, leisure, health and social networking for all ages is perhaps less well understood. We expect the young to have these skills yet we tolerate those who are older never having the same opportunity. If we are to reduce social exclusion in society we must close the gap between the ICT-haves and have-nots.

To enable this ‘entitlement’ the review proposes:

  1. a social marketing campaign, driven through the Government’s Digital Britain
    strategy, to highlight the benefits of getting online.
  2. a single helpline and website with online learning modules, with links to a range
    of free resources, provided by broadcasters and other commercial suppliers.
  3. access to a diverse range of entitlement providers to receive support to learn the
    basic skills they need to get online.

Although itis an English focused review, it none the less highlights the gap in computing skills and therefore media literacy that is prevalent within many sectors of our society.  A positive step forward.