Category Archives: Digital Inclusion

The cost of getting everyone basic online skills by 2020 is £875 million pounds

This published today by the Tinder Foundation says we need to invest £875 million over the next 6 years to get basic web skills to the entire population.
What is the investment needed to get everyone in the UK using the internet regularly with Basic Online Skills? A report by Catherine McDonald, for Tinder Foundation and Go ON UK, February 2014 You can download the full report and view the costed model in excel. You can use the excel file to change the weighted factors associated with historic internet use, employment, disability and socio-economic group. – See more at: http://www.tinderfoundation.org/nation2020#sthash.NFs79sxx.dpuf

Action D1: Digital Inclusion Strategy

In response to Birmingham’s high level of social deprivation and the continuing drive to put more public services online, we are creating a Digital Inclusion Strategy for Birmingham. The strategy will focus on affordable access for all citizens, in particular: social housing tenants; basic digital skills development based on citizens’ needs and interests; and support for small businesses and entrepreneurs to gain value from digital connectivity and skills.

Stakeholders identified

  • Digital Birmingham / BCC

Potential stakeholders

  • Digital inclusion organisations such as Tinder Foundation or Learn Direct
  • Third sector such as RnR and RAWM
  • Housing associations
  • Broadband and wireless providers

What makes this approach smart?

A joined up, cross sector approach that aims to integrate efforts and redesign processes for better digital inclusion

Short-term actions

Scoping exercise to develop Digital Inclusion Strategy for consultation with a small number of partners initially, that can be extended to wider Birmingham community.

Future actions

  • Launch Digital Inclusion Strategy in 2014 for consultation
  • Embed the Digital Inclusion Strategy in the Smart City Roadmap

Action D2: Digital Champions

To create a network of digital champions through GO ON Birmingham which is linked to a National Campaign of people that can help others engage with technology in their community,  workplace or home, by creating 2,000 digital champions made up of citizens, employees and businesses across Birmingham.

Stakeholders identified

  • Digital Birmingham
  • Housing Associations
  • Chamber of commerce

Potential stakeholders

  • Social enterprises
  • Tinder Foundation
  • Digital Unite
  • Telecommunication providers

What makes this approach smart?

Actively promoting and increasing digital skills will improve social and economic ability of citizens

Short-term actions

  • To launch a booklet (toolkit) and resources that can be used to help others learn digital skills and get online
  • To enable the digital champions to network so they can act as a conduit for important communications around digital inclusion

Future actions

  • Increase the network, especially with employers to ensure employees have the digital skills to improve their careers and move the business forward
  • Use digital champions network to act as a test users of the Birmingham Living Lab to trial any new software / technologies that may be developed as part of the Smart City Roadmap

Action D3: Virgin 10,000 Volunteers Programme

Virgin will be setting up TechJams with Birmingham City University and BCC. TechJams are free and fun digital making clubs. They are designed to work for absolute beginners and tech-savvy experts. We know that anyone can be a digital maker. Our approach is to learn by doing by using the thousands of free and easy-to-use tools that are readily available on the internet.  This will enable people to learn digital skills but also make useful applications from open data that can help the wider community, as well as develop ideas and innovative projects.

Stakeholders identified

  • Virgin
  • Birmingham City University
  • Digital Birmingham

Potential stakeholders

  • SMEs, students and citizens interested in ‘digital making’

What makes this approach smart?

Cross sector working to maximise impact and increase digital skills required for work and life

Short-term actions

Launch TechJams in 2014

Future actions

  • Identify innovative projects and apps which have been made from those taking part in the TechJams, and to promote them for wider consumption
  • Use skills and apps for wider public and private consumption and to help develop any new software / technologies that may be developed as part of the Smart City Roadmap

Action D4: Digital Neighbourhood

We will create a Digital Neighbourhood that will work intensively with approximately 50 BCC housing tenants to engage and connect people to different technologies, to identify their appetite for channel shift and take advantage of the benefits that being online can bring. Its aim is to create a model that can be replicated across the city. Tenants will use a mixture of devices as part of the project. Learning from this project will inform this and other channel shift strategies across BCC.

Stakeholders identified

  • Digital Birmingham
  • Local services (Housing)

Potential stakeholders

  • Tenant association
  • Housing associations
  • Other local authorities
  • WMODF

What makes this approach smart?

Gaining better insights to influence service delivery

Short-term actions

Identify where the digital neighbourhood will be created (looking to start delivery in March 2014 depending on the project; plan being drawn up and local services resources available)

Future actions

  • If successful, work on creating a model that can be replicated across the city and link into other connectivity projects as part of the Smart City Roadmap
  • Use digital neighbourhoods as living labs to test any new software/technologies that may be developed as part of the Smart City Roadmap

Bridging Birmingham’s digital divide – share what you’re doing.

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A social media surgery in Yardley helps develop digital skills

This was first published on the fairbrum blog:

“There are still 7 million people in the UK who have never been online and 11 million who don’t have the skills to get any benefit from the internet.

The main determinant of digital exclusion is age, but other significant factors – often combined with low income – include disability, learning difficulties, ethnic origin, location, culture and language.

There is a clear correlation between digital and social exclusion. This means that those already at a disadvantage are the least likely to be making use of the internet and are, in turn, further disadvantaged by not using it.

Digital inequality matters because people without the right combination of access, skills, motivation and knowledge are missing out on important areas of the digital world.

The Welfare Reform Multi-Agency Committee has identified digital inclusion as one of its priorities and as part of Birmingham’s Digital Inclusion Strategy and GO ON Digital Champion programme, work has begun to map free internet access provided by voluntary, community and public sector organisations across the city, so that people either without access to technology or without the skills to use digital technology can be signposted to the help they need to get online.

Please help us populate this digital map by getting in touch with Fairbrum here on our blog or by email to fairbrum@birmingham.gov.uk if you or an organisation you know provides free internet access and/or help and advice to get online.”