…talking about digital inclusion that is. Well, that’s how it’s felt after celebrating some important milestones over the past week.
In my last post I talked about the Digital Leaders Annual Lecture and following on from that I wrote a post for the Digital Leaders blog – which just so happened to coincide with the Digital Democracy debate at the House of Commons, led by Meg Hillier MP. It was also the first time the public (me included!) could use electronic devices during an MPs debate.
Fast forward a few days and it was back to Westminster, this time at the House of Lords, for a big day for the Tinder Foundation team. For the past six months we’ve been working with Vodafone UK and 17 UK online centres to research how mobile technology can contribute towards bridging that digital gap. The results of the project have formed a new report, “Mobile: Helping To Close The Digital Divide?”
I must admit (it’s something I talked about on Tuesday) when we first started working with Vodafone I was feeling pretty fed up of attending events to hear people saying that everything (digitally-speaking) was fine because “all the old people will die soon and everyone left already owns a mobile”. And I was definitely fed up of replying (or often shouting) that they were wrong.
But the project with Vodafone has reignited my enthusiasm for mobile as there have been some really great results.
We thought the people taking part would find using a mobile more intuitive (and they did) – which has had a huge impact. But the health and wellbeing impacts, and the impacts for people with caring responsibilities – were a real ‘bonus’ finding. The below is only a taster; I hope you can have a read of the findings in full here. Let me know what you think by using the hashtag #digitalmobile:
- 55% not only learnt in the UK online centre with the help of the brilliant staff there, but they also carried on learning and enjoying their mobile device at home (and 45% didn’t learn independently)
- 88% improved their digital skills, with their motivations for using the internet also changing dramatically
- 65% reported improvements to confidence and self-esteem.
- Overcoming loneliness and isolation was a big gain, with 67% saying they had better and more frequent communication with friends and family.
And finally, on Wednesday we celebrated another important milestone in our Widening Digital Participation work with the NHS, where I was joined by Dr Ollie Hart. Ollie is a GP from Sloan Medical Centre in Sheffield and together with local partners in Sheffield he has been integral in referring his patients to the UK online centres “digital surgery”, run by the Heeley Development Trust.
I’ll be blogging more about the Widening Digital Participation programme soon, but in the meantime take a look at http://nhs.tinderfoundation.org/.
We’re also holding a great Tweetchat next Thursday to find out what GPs, CCGs and other health practitioners think of the Widening Digital Participation programme. You can find out more here, and so do join in if you’re interested using the hashtag #NHSWDP – we hope to see you there!