Tag Archives: digital divide

The Black Digital Inclusion

There are some people who do not have access to the internet as they may not have a device or regular access to the internet.

If you are a business or a service provider looking at this information, you could consider users with less access than some of your target audiences.

There are computer classes availible for those who do not have internet skills or computer skills but what should be considered is those without device skills such as smartphones, phablets and tablets.

I have previously been involved in projects with persons looking at accessing the internet and how it is accessed with some of the following aims to come out of this:

– Services availible to those who have not got regular access to the interent.

– Having a stall of your services with a tablet and smartphone showing how your service can be accessed through different means

– Providing information and (where possible) equiptment to persons who do not have the money to access the services.

– Working with companies and organisations to get access to computers, smartphones and Tablets to those who cannot access them.

– One of the things to consider for those who do not have access to devices which utilise your service is whether or not you have thought about this.

The importance of more people having access to technology:

  • Can Pay bills online.
  • Health advice and information available online.
  • Use emails to communicate.
  • Can use social media to contact friends and relatives.
  • Keeping up-to-date with the news.

This is part of a Mini Digital Inclusion Blog Series making you more aware of those whoare excluded from the internet socially.

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The Black Digital Divide

As a person who has a long association and background with technology and how access to the internet and devices can be difficult. I have realised some black people take their access for granted and they are not ware of those who do not have the same access to this technology.

There is also a viewpoint of how you use technology in your every day life. For example you can now use a smartphone to pay for a coffee in selected places if you so wish.

Many black people around the world cannot access the internet, and so they are unable to add knowledge, wisdom or their voice to an ongoing discussion and (in some cases) action in motion.

There are many other races of people who do not have access and there are initiatives by mainstream technology companies to provide cheaper and free internet, as well as training on how to use the internet and devices which rely on it.

I have managed and been involved in projects where internet is unavailable and wireless internet has been provided, which is how you get WiFi internet as mobile phone signal carriers can be used to provide broadband speed internet for free or at a low cost for a day or week, in city and town centres.

Digital exclusion is a term which black people do not know well and this is what it is in a nutshell, being socially excluded from digital services. So for example you might not be able to access internet banking or have to pay more for to set up a standing order or pay a bill in person or through the post rather than online from your device. More and more services are being moved online and access to the internet is becoming more essential.

The internet now is a utility like gas, water and electricity, especially as device, services and products are part of our instant – now society.

Black People And Touch Screens

Introduction

This extended blog is a guide to how you can support black people who have little experience of the internet and using internet enabled devices.

I have previous experience in creating and testing methods in how older and socially excluded persons can access the internet with different types of technology.

Previously I had managed projects which looked at providing older and socially excluded audiences with devices and the internet and seeing which devices (netbook, touch screen smartphone and touch screen computer) worked best for their needs.

The technology which was most effective was the touch screen technology (smartphone and computer). This was due to the layout and the ease of access to the applications they could use to browse the internet, send emails and video call, which are all things older persons find valuable about their technology use.

(Note. Digital Exclusion is those who do not have access to the internet, either by mobile internet, broadband or television internet)

These Users

The black enlightened network does not always realise that is it is based online, and can network and share information with others around the world. Most of the participants are younger and have access to a broadband or mobile internet connection.

The digitally excluded, with information to share may not have such access or the knowledge on how to use these devices. Although online engagement should not start and end the participation, it can be a accessible start.

Being able to fuse together the older generations get up and go know-how with the younger generations knowledge of technology great strides could be made.

How The Digitally Excluded Should Use Technology

Technology which digitally excluded users should use, is suggested to be simpler and more convenient, than your own device, since they may not be as skilled as you are at using different devices.

Screen size is important as they will need this to read the text or see the pictures, though it should be noted that the bigger the screen the more expensive the device will be.

Screen size can also assist in having ease of access to some of the following:

  • Internet Banking
  • Paying bills
  • Online Shopping
  • Skype
  • Checking and Sending Emails
  • Using Social Media
  • Internet Browsing

The device should be set up with a way in which they can check emails and notifications, send and check text messages.

Touch Screen Devices

Most of the applications and web pages are now created to match either the smartphone or tablets size, whilst a touch screen computer will have a desktop view.

This means social media sites will have applications if using a Smartphone or tablet that is easily accessible, with just your log in and password required.

You may purchase the touch screen device for some of the reasons below:

  • They just need to touch the icon on the screen.
  • Applications are accessible on one screen
  • Keyboard and mouse are optional
  • Ease of access to Audio, pictures and Videos

Connections

Some of you will have access to a internet connection, others may not. If you have a friend or relative who is new to the internet but would like it to keep in-touch.

You may assist them in selecting a service which would meet their usage, for example an unlimited internet package may not be suitable to them unless they are going to be subscribed to netflix or making many video calls.

If they are just using the internet to look at the internet and interact with people on social media and respond to emails then a package with a lower data allowance/lower bandwidth will do.

 

Social reporting

In the role of Digital Inclusion champion, I used to attend conferences on digital inclusion and open data. In these conferences the organiser would set up a #hashtag. This would allow event attendees to tweet about the event under this #hashtag.

The tweets would include key points, interesting discussions taking place and most importantly it would allow those who did not attend the event to be involved through following events using the #hashtag. This would allow them to pose live questions despite not being present and seek different answers and perspectives.

In addition to the tweets being posted, there would be pictures and videos uploaded of a particular person who was hosting or presenting at the event. There would be in some cases live streaming at these events.

The main point is black organisations, who are hosting or attending events can afford to socially report. This is a cost effective measure and it also means those who cannot attend will be kept up to date with updates from the event.