Saturday, March 24, 2012

Building Digital Communities: The Cliff Notes Version

Page 1.    What does digital inclusion mean for people in a community? 

All people, businesses, and institutions will have access to digital content and technologies that enable them to create and support healthy, prosperous, and cohesive 21 st century communities.

Specifically, digital inclusion means that:  All members.....
  • understand the benefits of advanced information and communication technologies. 
  • have equitable and affordable access to high-speed Internet-connected devices and online content. 
  • can take advantage of the educational, economic, and social opportunities available through these technologies.

Page 2-3.  A framework for community-wide planning.

Pages 4-6.  Getting started on digital inclusion:  Steps in the process.

Convene stakeholders.
  • Local, city, and tribal governments
  • Public agencies, especially public libraries
  • Nonprofit community-based organizations
  • The business community
  • Residents
Develop a shared community understanding of digital inclusion.
  • What does the term digital literacy mean for the community? 
  • What digital technologies are currently available, and to whom? 
  • Where are the gaps? Who is left out and at risk of being left behind? 
  • What are the most important community goals of digital inclusion: economic development, education, job training, health care, emergency management, social connection?
Create a community action plan.
Implement the plan.
Evaluate and revise the plan.

Page 7-19  Principles of digital inclusion (with goals and sample strategies)

Access principles
  • Availability  (reliable communications infrastructure)
  • Affordability  (for all communities members to access broadband and digital technologies)
  • Design for inclusion   (people with disabilities, physical or cognitive differences, and differences in age-related capabilities, language, literacy or culture)
  • Public access  (for community members who have little or no communication technology available in the home, need assistance to effectively use technology)
Adoption principles
  • Relevance  (using technology to achieve educational, economic, and social goals)
  • Digital literacy  (ability to find, evaluate, and use information to achieve goals)
  • Consumer safety  (accurate, unbiased information on how to safely navigate the digital world)

Pages 20-31  Strategic areas for digital inclusion (with goals and sample strategies)

Economic and workforce development  (develop the knowledge and skills of future workers and entrepreneurs, as well as help the current workforce update its competencies to meet the needs of employers)

Education  (ensure that students have the digital skills to reach their full potential by connecting them to a diverse range of electronic resources)

Health care  (efficiencies and cost-savings in health care delivery, improvement to patient care, and support for independent living and management of health concern)

Public safety and emergency services  (integrated communications systems for emergency and disaster preparation, response, and recover)

Civic engagement  (electronic interaction between community institutions, government agencies, and individuals)

Social connections  (access to technologies that promote social engagement and the pursuit of independent learning and creative interests)

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