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2 years 3 days ago
Author: Hrobjartur Arnason
The Dldact project and its products were presented at an Inkludera Flera Seminar in Copenhagen Mai 20th 2015. Inkludera Flera is a NordPlus project dealing with similar themes as the Dldact project, so it seemed evident that it would be interesting to present the Dldact project and its results at this event. In the same way, Includera Flera presented its results at the Dldact dissemination Webinar on May 8th.
The conference was held in an intriguing transparent dome: "The dome of visions", on the waterfront in Copenhagen next to the national library "The black Diamond".
The seminar started with presentations about official digital services and various aspects of their influence on people’s lives:
"The Danish official digital strategy" Louise Palludan Kampmann
“Inclusive, democratic and digital – three challenges for the society of tomorrow“. Helen Milner
"In from the margins with digital bridges". Henrik Hansson
Journalistic summary, in view of questions on digital inclusion, security and integrity. Sebastian Gjerding.
These presentations gave details to the general impression many have today, that the increase in digital services has some very interesting benefits for organisations, and individuals but a number of serious questions need to be addressed concerning, for example: the reach of the services, digital competencies needed and how people aquire them. Moreover issues of data security, privacy, equity etc. need to be discussed and it is clear that citizens need to learn how to navigate the new digital landscapes in ways that they find safe and empowering.
In the afternoon the group split into 4 workshops on narrower aspects of digital inclusion: From one of the workshops, @ging Online :
Johanna Nordmyr from Finland presented her research on special interventions to increase older citizens ICT competencies. Their findings were that people who are digitally active experiences greater quality of life for the participants than those who are not. Simple aspects such as increased possibilities for communication, which led to more communication with their network and thus more wellbeing. Older people, who are online, even create new contacts and have through digital media access to more resources and thus they experience increased independence. So furthering older citizens competencies using ICT seems to open up new possibilities and increase their self-realisation. To sum up elderly people who are Internet users in the group studied reported greater well-being in general both physically and mentally. However, a causal relationship has still to be established.
To wrap up the day participants discussed recommendations created through the process of the project. These are recommendations addressed to decision makers on the one hand and adult education institutions on the other. It seems clear to me after our discussions at the seminar that all the possibilities digital media open up for all sorts of services, create incredible opportunities and challenges. Some people experience these possibilities as daunting, especially those who have not followed the evolution online and kept their skills up to date. Moreover, the use of the massive amounts of available data can pose threats to people's privacy and even identity, at the same time as they open before unimaginable opportunities by using available data in novel ways to create new possibilities for good. Thus in order to stay abreast and remain in charge of one’s own destiny, an individual needs to understand what is going on and be able to take charge of his/her own digital footprints and his/her use of the services available. In this situation, it is prudent or even necessary to discuss critically questions concerning society’s responsibility in this area: How much responsibility and initiative should official instances take in educating older citizens and others who are digitally marginalized? It may be argued that societies which in the 20th century created school systems which systematically valued passive learning and thus served hierarchical organisations which wanted workers who did what they were told should take some of the responsibility in helping such passive learners to adapt to changes in society created by increased use of digital media.
In this context, we presented the products of the Dldact project, many of which emphasize the possibilities being created by digital media for people to be proactive in their interactions with official organisations as well as participating in creating the future of their societies.
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