Here in South Florida, in particular Miami-Dade, our media network has dedicated time, energy, money and resources to help do our part to close the digital divide. This is because we have seen up close and personal how tech access and education can uplift a city, give hope to career seekers and help a business community elevate itself.
Since Miami's in 1993, we've been consumed with solving the issue of closing the digital divide for decades because we were able to see both the "haves" and the "have nots". On one hand we were interacting and engaging businesses and students, teachers and parents in the inner city (i.e. Liberty City, Brownsville, Carol City as well as Miami Gardens.
There was clearly a lack of technical literacy and proficiency at that time with this audience. On the other hand, we were and still are engaged with tech initiatives with various chambers, civic and user groups as well as newly formed heavily funded tech stimulators in the region. We also programmed our own tech events, workshops and initiatives. Moving from one extreme to another allowed us to see the divide as clearly as an earthquake fault line. Traditionally Miami has left people of color particularly African Americans by the wayside. This seems to be an item that many leaders are trying to address, especially over the last few years in respect to the accessible technology.
Closing the digital divide is one of the key components to expanding the capabilities of a nation hoping to tackle tech challenges on the horizon. Digital access and the ability to close the digital divide also enables innovation with startups and investors because there's a broader community of creatives, inventors, developers and insightful programmers. This series aims to delve into where we are with the digital divide and what's being done to continue to close it
Digital Literacy Programs have become a critical piece to building a stronger tech community while closing the divide. Digital literacy programs play a crucial role by providing individuals with the skills and knowledge to expand awareness on these technologies.
The digital divide refers to the gap between those who have access to and can effectively use digital tools and resources, such as computers or the internet, and those who do not.
It applies to many of us, but also to business owners. Basic Digital Skills: Digital literacy programs provide small business owners with essential digital skills, such as using computers, navigating the internet, and using productivity tools like email and word processing software. These skills are fundamental in today's digital landscape and enable small business owners to efficiently manage their day-to-day operations. Digital literacy can play a role in the success or failure of a small business.
Here are several ways in which digital literacy programs contribute to closing the digital divide:
Access to technology: Digital literacy programs often provide access to computers, internet connectivity, and other necessary tools. By offering these resources to underserved communities or individuals, they bridge the gap between those who have access to technology and those who don't.
2. Basic digital skills: Many people lack fundamental digital skills, such as using email, conducting online searches, or navigating websites. Digital literacy programs offer training and education on these essential skills, enabling individuals to become more comfortable and proficient in using digital technologies.
Digital technologies refer to the use of electronic devices, computer systems, software applications, and the internet to process, transmit, and store information. They encompass a wide range of technologies and tools that enable digital communication, data manipulation, automation, and more.
`Investing in education, inclusion and access can lead to innovation and increased economic success for more citizens. failing to do so places a burden communities, cities, states and the nation.
3. Internet literacy: Access to the internet is a critical aspect of digital inclusion. Digital literacy programs teach individuals how to effectively and safely use the internet, including understanding online privacy and security, evaluating the credibility of online information, and engaging in responsible online behavior.