ellohay! West Michigan

UK study says digital inclusion makes people more confident

Posted in data, education, good news, membership benefits, research by forgr on October 10, 2008

Google Reader brought great news to me this morning in the form of an article from 24dash.com titled “New research links digital inclusion and social impact”. Yes, you read it correctly. An excerpt,

More than 12,000 people took part in the social impact demonstrator projects between January 2007 and March 2008. By the end of the project, participants were more likely to feel confident, and 40% had progressed into further training, employment, information, advice and guidance.

Working with the computers helped to improve people’s maths and English, and they were more likely to spend time with friends and family, and more likely to connect with and help out in their communities.

Published by Hannah Wooderson for 24dash.com in Communities, Wednesday 8th October 2008 – 3:38pm.

So in other words, this is really good news. It proves what I’ve been (just) insisting over the last 10 months. And yes, it’s just the beginning, I’m sure there will be ongoing studies to discover the long term impact, and more studies that out-right contradict it. However this is one more juicy juicy morsel that will help convince future partners, collaborators and potential funders that what we’re doing is good for our community.

Keep it coming, we need all the proof we can get.

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Online safety tips from Google and AARP

Posted in education, links for community, privacy and safety by forgr on October 8, 2008

I ran across this article this morning on the Official Google Blog on educating our 50+ citizens (AARP members) on online safety. Google and AARP created a series of clear and helpful informative videos that even I (27, internet savvy) enjoyed watching.

Up until now, a majority of 50+ people relied on other savvy individuals (neighbors, Best Buy’s Geek Squad, children, patient grand children etc.) to explain things to them. But the problem still remains that those explanations aren’t always captured (written down, recorded) efficiently, aren’t always as clear, or in depth as they often need to be. My mom (59) who’s pretty quick with computers and internet navigation, calls me every once to ask questions about uploading, downloading, formatting files, and the occasional email question too.

From the Official Google Blog article:

Now more than ever before, older Americans are logging on and surfing the web to stay in touch with family and friends, read websites and blogs, share photos, watch videos, and run online businesses. Like all Internet users, they’re sometimes faced with unsafe activity online, such as viruses and malware, and they’re looking for resources to learn how to keep their information on the web safe, private, and under their control.

A few of the videos that AARP and Google created together. Check out the video “Know what’s posted about you online” it’s clear, descriptive and an extremely good primer for those of us who are just starting out online.

Read more here.