The digital world has undoubtedly changed the way society operates, but as many as one-in-four Australians still don’t feel digitally included, a national index shows.
The Australian Digital Inclusion Index tracks how many people are able to access, afford and use the internet. Among those who feel excluded, many don’t have the confidence to participate freely and safely in online activities, which can limit their ability to stay in touch with friends and family, and complete tasks that have increasingly moved online, including banking.
A yearly campaign called Get Online Week – hosted by the charity Good Things Foundation – aims to tackle this problem and improve digital inclusion through a series of fun and informative events.
Last year, Get Online Week reached 19,000 Australians at more than 1000 events across the country. The vast majority of participants (93 per cent) said they learnt something new, with scams and password awareness, the basics of using a device, troubleshooting, getting online and taking photos among the new skills most cited.
After that success, the event is back again this year, between October 16 and 22. People can either attend or host workshops, to help their local community get more involved with the digital world.
Tools to improve digital skills
The Good Things Foundation, and the government’s Be Connected Hub, help people
enhance their digital knowledge and abilities all year round, with a number of services, including:
- Foundational courses on how to navigate different digital devices
- Courses on how to manage digital calendars
- Resources on how to manage your health online, from Medicare claims to MyGov
- Community computer classes, which are often hosted at libraries or other council facilities
How to get involved
Whether you’re looking to improve your digital skills or feel like you can lend a hand to others, there are ways to be a part of Get Online Week.
An interactive map shows more than 220 in-person events operating this year in different geographical locations. People can also call 1300 795 897 to be put in touch with their local events.
For those looking to host a community event, there are tips and explainers available on the Get Online Week website. You don’t have to be a tech expert to help out, just friendly and patient.
To find out more, visit the Get Online Week website.