Demystifying Technology · Digital Inclusion · Digital Literacy Reconsidered · Reflections

Summer Explorations: Random Thoughts Related to Digital Inclusion

When summers go well, they end up less about specific, urgent to do’s, and more about random thoughts fostering summer explorations, and ultimately new avenues towards social justice. Here are some random thoughts related to digital inclusion coming from notes, papers, books, and conversations hanging out in my office…

Digital Inclusion and Equity is part of wider policy and practice that generally has little to do specifically with digital technologies and much to do with justice, equity, and information & democratic access as a public good.

Digital Inclusion and Equity requires

  • stopping digital tech & activities that bring little or no value for the public good
  • providing greater support to those individuals and organizations that make a difference in community
  • creating the environment for better, stronger joint working between people, businesses, charities, and the public sector
  • a social justice lens (Suguna Chundur)

Rawls’ 1st & 2nd Principles of Justice

Sen’s Capability Approach

Critical Pedagogy

Miles Horton, Paulo Freire, Virginia Eubanks

NDIA Digital Equity = “have the IT capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, & economy.”

GOV.UK Digital Inclusion Policy = “Capacity to participate in the society where one lives.”

Inclusion/Exclusion is:

Individually-based / Agency / Psychology / Micro

Socially-based / Structuration / Sociology / Meso

Structurally-based / Structure / Political Economy / Macro

Kirstin Phelps highlights we need collective leadership for collaborative community action

Hailley Fargo emphasizes we need to move from demystifying technology to demystifying period.

Miriam Sweeney and Colin Rhinesmith put forward seven steps for incorporating a critical, feminist ethics of care into our practice.

Nicole Cooke’s book challenges us to develop culturally competent library professionals providing information services to diverse populations

When digital technology is always a physical + software + human + social whole greater than the sum of the parts, we need to continually seek out human (and more than human) difference as an essential resource seeking out and challenging exclusionary forces while advancing cognitive, socio-emotional, and information seeking skills. In this way we continually build, re-build, and unbuild technical skills and applications so as to maximize benefit and minimize harm through ever greater participation and pluralism.

Summer’s still fresh, and time is still there for the taking. Let’s get together and build some more random thoughts together!

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