Education has been proven to have effects on reducing poverty and violence. It has been shown to contribute to individual happiness, feelings of self-worth and resiliency. If that’s not enough, many draw a link between education and a nation’s economic growth.
However, limited access to digital skills threatens to widen the income gap between those who have the skills to succeed in the 21st century and those who do not.
To reduce the gap, all young people need the opportunity to learn computer science, especially those least likely to have access.
Computational thinking skills are becoming very important in our society and working life. However, so far formal education has been using ICT to focus purely on computer literacy – teaching students, how to word-process, how to work a spreadsheet and how to surf the Internet. There is nowadays an ever-growing need to teach computer science, ICT and digital literacy, thus going beyond the skills of how to use a computer, to teach people how to learn, how to solve a problem, how to code, how to create a program, how to create a digital story, how a computer works and how to make it work for them! The main challenge is to empower disadvantaged learners to become prosumers. A prosumer is not only consuming media but also creating media. People should try to work on the second level digital divide by analyzing how different groups develop different skills using the computer. Often, low skilled people use the computer, the tablet or the smartphone only as consumers and mainly for entertainment purposes, while high skilled people tend to use them as prosumers, as tools to learn and educate themselves. It is important for low skilled people to start using the computer as a tool to find solutions and resolve problems.
How to make digital skills accessible to disadvantaged groups?
make a digital product
- be creative
- different skills mixed
- participative approaches
- short duration of the training
- share outcomes to the public
Digital skills are crucial to compete in today’s world. So let’s make it available but most importantly accessible to everyone.