Earlier this week, Connect Minnesota released a report on digital literacy and household broadband adoption. Here’s the quick take…
The 2012 Residential Technology Assessment from Connect Minnesota shows that approximately 904,000 [22 percent] adult Minnesotans do not subscribe to home broadband service. Minnesotans without home broadband service most often cite a lack of relevance, or the belief that home broadband service is not beneficial or useful to them, and cost as the top two reasons for not adopting the service. However, more than one in ten non-adopters in Minnesota (13%) cite a lack of digital literacy skills as their main reason for not adopting home broadband, which makes it the third most-cited reason for not having home broadband in Minnesota (Figure 1).
The report using data collected via random digit dial telephone survey of 1,201 adult heads of households across the state between October 2 and October 25, 2012.
The report also mentions the WhyBroadband? site created by the Minnesota Broadband Task Force. It’s a one-stop-shop for info on learning more about computer and Internet access.
Each One Teach One Challenge
I suspect that most folks reading this blog are broadband adopters. But many of us know someone who isn’t. Maybe we can all work to improving broadband adoption statistics by working with one person to help them increase their digital literacy in an each one teach one model. Maybe that means donating a computer to someplace such as PCs for People (which refurbishes computers for low income households). Maybe that means helping a parent, grandparent or acquaintance with some one-on-one training. Maybe that means volunteering at the library, community center or senior care facility to work with folks in a casual or formal setting.
At TED I saw a presentation on the decline of butterflies. One answer – plant gardens. This is the same sort of suggestion. If each of us took just a couple of hours it would make a difference. The WhyBroadband site links to curriculum that would help get folks going – but I’ve done some digital literacy training and I have found that when you have the luxury of working with one or two people it’s really a matter of finding out what would spark an interest with the non-adopter and exploring that topic together online. The objective isn’t necessarily for each of us to create computer geeks – just inspire the interest to learn more.