Digital Literacy

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Description:

The digital divide is seen as the gap between people that have access to and know about computers and those that are far behind or will never use such devices. It is often thought to be a socio-economic phenomenon, in such a way that an increase of the divide in the future will also further alienate the underserved citizens and developing countries.

Therefore, throughout the last decades a large number of digital literacy initiatives have been developed. For example, in 1989 the International Development of Computer Education (IDCE) program was established. It was the goal of the IDCE to increase access to basic computers for educational purposes in developing countries.

In 1995 the European Commission launched an initiative to improve the level of IT skills in industry. As a result the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) task force was founded that introduced the European Computer Driving License (ECDL) across Europe in 1996. Later this was also rolled out internationally as the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) and since has grown to be the global benchmark for end-user computer certification. Another initiative is IC³, the first global internet and computing literacy measurement standard that took off in 2002.

Such digital literacy initiatives clearly deliver benefits for a wide range of people, from youngsters in education, to employees and companies, and even countries seeking skills to improve their economic opportunities. Digital literacy is thus a means that will offer many opportunities to various people and it even will become more and more essential to function in the digital era. It is however uncertain how quick and widespread the development of digital literacy globally will be, but in turn it will definitely affect the development of the internet and its applications.

Enablers:

Factors which strengthen this driving force. 
1. Lower costs of chips and computers
2. Aging of population  
3. Economic growth
4. Governmental stimulus
5. Private donors
6. Improved inter-governmental relationships

Inhibitors:

Factors which weaken this driving force. 
1. Wider economic divide
2. Inadequate e-governance initiatives
3. Low literacy levels
4. Baby boom in developed countries

Paradigms:

Old: Productivity is crucial

New: Digital literacy is crucial in the digital era

Experts:

Sources for additional information about this driving force. (if you have found people, put the links to them)

Timing:

1999 establishment of International Development of Computer Education (IDCE) program

1996 launch of European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)

2001 First World Computer Literacy Day

2002 launch of IC³

Web Resources:

Council of European Professional Informatics Societies

European Computer Driving License Foundation

Global Digital Literacy Council