This project aims to tackle the serious digital skills deficit in N Ireland by delivering digital learning opportunities in an accessible form across the public library network.
Digital skills are now necessary life skills, and these skills will become even more important in the future given that so many everyday activities – such as shopping, banking, communicating and accessing services, advice and information – increasingly require interaction with technology.
A dedicated team of seven staff are delivering an additional 2,000 tailored training opportunities targeted at sections of the population with the greatest skills needs.
The target groups which this project is primarily concerned with are:
The Digital Citizen project takes people from ‘digital muggle’ to ‘digital citizen’
Digital Muggle: No digital skills required – digital technology may as well be magic
Digital Citizen: the same work skills as are required to be a full digital citizen. This is the ability to use digital technology purposefully and confidently to communicate, find information and purchase goods/services.
While also positively impacting self-efficacy specifically around developing confidence and skills and address inequalities in society. The action learning approach tailors the learning to activities the individual wishes to take part in.
This project has a number of additional elements which are not included in the current Libraries NI digital support offer – for example delivery of specific learning opportunities to people with disabilities or vulnerable adults and development of programmes in relation to online safety which is an area of concern especially for older adults.
The Digital Citizen project reaches those in communities who have not been able to avail of basic IT training for reasons such as accessibility, affordability, awareness, or confidence.