ARCHIVE: Digital inclusion and participation
Government, industry and the third sector are driving a number of initiatives to drive digital participation. The recently launched National Plan Digital Participation sets a target of 7.5 million new adult internet users - of the 12.5 million unconnected – to be online by March 2014. The Plan is supported by the skills and expertise of 60 organisations from industry, government and the third sector that make up the Consortium for the Promotion of Digital Participation. It has a shared vision of Digital Participation that everyone who wants to be online can get online, do more online and benefit from the advantages of being online.
Defra is represented on the cross Government working group on digital inclusion which oversees this work to maximise the impacts of programmes addressing digital inclusion and participation.
The Government’s National Plan for Digital Participation was launched on 2 March.
In rural communities where the population is ageing, encouraging older people to get online and take advantage of services available on the internet can be difficult because they lack the necessary skills.
In recognition of this, the Government’s new scheme to improve digital participation will specifically target 81 of the 195 schemes in its ‘Get Digital’ sheltered housing programme on rural locations. The schemes will offer basic training and guidance to older people using the internet for the first time, and will be delivered by NIACE and Digital Unite - leading practitioners in helping older people access new technologies.
- See http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/communities/1431488 for more information.
Older people are also a priority group for action under the National Plan for Digital Participation.
Where to go for help in getting on-line
UK Online Centres provide millions of people with access to computers and the internet, along with help and advice on how to use them. There are over 6,000 UK Online Centres in England and these can be in libraries, schools or run by voluntary organisations.
You can search by post code or area at www.ukonlinecentres.com or telephone 0800 77 1234. Costs vary between centres but in many cases it's completely free to get started. Some centres do make a small charge for access, but might offer concessions for people on benefits, and access may even be free. Make sure you ask for details of charges when you call up to arrange your first visit.
myguide is a simple, step-by-step, web-based tool funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) that shows people how to use the internet safely and effectively and how to get a range of benefits from it. For example, how to save money, find jobs, shop and bank online, as well as using online resources around health, education, transport and green living. There are also the social benefits of keeping in touch with friends and family and the local community and finding out more about personal interests and hobbies.
myguide courses are designed to help people learn more about computers and the internet. They can take an individual on a journey from absolute beginner to confident IT user, or can be used to dip in and out according to what subjects the individual is interested in and how much experience they have. The courses are free to use, there are no exams and no set timetables.
myguide can be accessed through the following link: www.myguide.gov.uk
Page last modified: 23 March 2010
Page published: 23 March 2010