My Times Today.
Digital Inclusion is defined as the “ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies (ICTs). Digital inclusion encompasses not only access to the Internet but also the availability of hardware and software; relevant content and services; and training for the digital literacy skills required for effective use of information and communication technologies”1.
The diffusion of the internet and ICTs means communities and organizations have the opportunity to expand and enrich their services, with the possibility of leveraging greater connectivity to serve the public good. Increasingly, basic services and essential goods – such as education, employment, commerce, and social interaction – are accessible through ICT or internet platforms. The potential for these technologies to aid in positive social impact is high. However, the reality is that many individuals, and even whole communities, are overlooked, forgotten, or excluded.
As a result, these underserved populations – often those less educated, with lower incomes, seniors or individuals with disabilities – are not only missing out on the potential benefits of ICTs, but also not being engaged in important decisions related to digital initiatives within communities. The Center for Digital Inclusion at the iSchool recognizes the importance of a digitally inclusive community. Our research projects reflect the ways we are helping to raise awareness and engage in scholarship around digital inclusion.