Published by Generocity on May 31, 2019
By Zarl Tarazona
When it comes to digital literacy, the issues of access, adoption, inclusion and equity need to be a part of the conversation.
The digital divide — the gap between those who have access to technology and those who don’t — is often the hot topic within discussions about digital literacy.
Throughout this month, Generocity has covered the digital divide in Philadelphia through stories like the nonprofits and city initiatives helping residents access the internet for job searches and how the 2020 Census will affect the LGBTQ community.
But what happens when the people whose job it is to think about digital literacy have different definitions for what that means?
Generocity facilitated a conversation between Liana Dragoman, director of the City’s Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation, who who focuses on design and usability; Andrew Buss, deputy chief information officer of the City’s Office of Innovation and Technology, who focuses on digital access and tech adoption; and Juliet Fink Yates, Philadelphia FIGHT’s chief learning officer, whose concern is digital inclusion for clients and community. The three met at Generocity’s offices for a wide-ranging discussion on the topic May 29.
Defining the language
For Dragoman, the definition of the digital divide is similar to the Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation’s mission. “We’re the team that helps the city improve access to city information and programs and services,” she said.
Her multidisciplinary team, which redesigned the city’s website (www.phila.gov) is made up of service designers, design researchers, user experience designers, content strategists and developers focused on accessibility, she said.
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