Drawing from research conducted as part of her postdoctoral project on community networks in rural Lancashire and her Knowledge Exchange project with Oxfordshire County Council Libraries, Dr Kira Allmann spoke to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Digital Skills on Wednesday about the need to cultivate comprehensive digital literacy at all ages.
"We should be careful not to overlook children when it comes to digital skills and inclusion because it’s easy to assume that kids these days are what we call 'digital natives,' meaning they are growing up exposed to technology and acquiring fluency naturally," said Allmann.
Digital exclusion is context specific, she said, and she also pointed to the rise of what she termed "platform-" or "proprietary fluency" among school-age children.
"In closing the digital divide in skills, we need to be conscious of how we are not just educating digitally skilled contributors to the knowledge economy, but also cultivating consumers of particular products," Allmann remarked.
Dr Allmann presented alongside:
Michaela Neild, External Affairs Manager, Google
Professor Lynne McKenna, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society,
University of Sunderland
Dr Budgie Dhanda, Managing Director, 3BDA and Co-Chair, UK Cyber Security
Council Formation Project
Read her full remarks here.