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.

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