• Facing the Digital Divide

    The ‘Digital Divide’ is a term coined in the 1990s to reflect the growing difference between people who have and use technology every day and those who don’t.

    As iPhones, Androids and other smartphones have exploded onto the market in recent years, it is difficult to remember that technology doesn’t come as quickly and easily to some as it does to others. And as technology increases in our day-to-day lives, it is even more important to ensure that people aren’t being left behind.

    One of the reasons Northpoint is offering basic computer courses is to help deal with this growing inequality. A friend of mine recently confided that, while she didn’t need to know how to use computers for work, she was increasingly becoming anxious about her ability to help her children do their homework.

    Computers and the ability to use the internet have moved beyond office worker skills. They have become a basic necessity. You need them to communicate with friends and family, dealing with home finances and planning events. And the divide is even bigger the further you go from the main cities. For some interesting stats, read this article about the Digital Divide in Australia.

    Online shopping finally went mainstream in Australia this year. But while finding a bargain is great, knowing where and how to shop safely is something we are still getting the hang of.

    The government has some Practical Prevention Guides that are a good place to start if you want to make sure you’re on the right track. We will be compiling the best published guides we can find and de-mystifying internet security as part of the Using the Internet Safely course.

    We’d love to hear your thoughts on other areas where we can help people dive in and learn to use computers with confidence.

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