Thursday, July 18, 2019

Digital literacy in far-flung areas still a challenge

LACK of computers in far-flung areas is still one of the main challenges faced in pushing digital literacy, a member of an international foundation said.

"The challenge is definitely access, in city centers we may not feel that there is barrier to access because we have hardware, you also have connectivity but on far flung areas, we have learned that through our friends from Department of Education that some teachers will say that they teach kids how to use computer using a chalkboard," said Maryanne Jude Mendoza, partnership manager at Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (Assist), which is spearheading the Digibayanihan, a digital empowerment movement.

Mendoza said some leaders already said that everything is going digital, there is no going back to analog.

"We must prepare citizens to be comfortable with the use of technology," she said.

Digibayanihan seminars conducted by Mendoza and her team, together with Molave Foundation, were aimed to promote digital literacy, digital enabled literacy and digital citizenship.

"We gave these trainings to our stakeholders so that they'd be empowered users of technology," she said.

They started training in public libraries because it already has hardware.

Mendoza said they are also equipping libraries so that they can teach others.

Digibayanihan, a nationwide movement, has focused on Visayas and Mindanao areas.

Davao City houses the second public library declared as Digibayanihan centers of excellence. The first was in Cebu.

During the seminar held on February 26 until February 28, stakeholders were taught how to use modules for career readiness, college preparatory testing, and how to access an online game that teaches elementary students on strengthening their digital skills in data privacy management, screen time management, and cyber bully management.

Access to these sites is provided for free.

While their group provides content, Mendoza challenges private stakeholders and organizations to donate computers in public areas to forward digital literacy in various areas.
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