Digital Inclusion in an Era of Misinformation

ABSTRACT

Digital Inclusion is meant to replace the term digital divide so that the discussions are framed in a positive manor and to reflect the realities of access and understanding of information and communications technology (ICT) at more than just a fundamental level. Security, prosperity, and even the environment depends on individuals accessing information and feeding their capacity to make informed choices while remaining agile and adaptable to accelerated change. Our new knowledge society demands that everyone become lifelong learners and be capable and comfortable using technology. It is critical for everyone to achieve digital competency so that they may take advantage of ICT, which will in turn support them as they take part in the global digital conversation. As educated and informed global citizens, they can help to mold their communities economically, politically and socially in a positive direction. It is not enough to have access to the internet or understand and utilize ICT. In order to remain relevant, people must be digitally inclusive. Including oneself in the conversations expressed through social media builds up social capital – an individuals’ investment in the digital conversations with expectations of return. These conversations are established through the connections made by individuals participating in social media. These networks encourage exposure to new technologies and perform supportive functions to aid in the adoption of new technologies. These peer networks may also acquaint individuals with the capability ICT has to assist them with personal empowerment that can bring about an improvement in their quality of life.

Key words: (Digital Inclusion, Information and Communications Technologies, Social Capital, Personal Learning Clouds)

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