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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Scotland’s digital revolution is beginning

This news post is over 7 years old

Too many Scots still don't have access to digital technology

A national movement must be built that will lead a digital inclusion revolution, a major third sector meeting has been told.

An estimated 1.3 million people in Scotland are not engaging with new information technology and face finding themselves excluded from education and opportunities.

Attendees at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations' (SCVO) Third Sector Summit heard that a major drive is underway to challenge digital exclusion.

SCVO is pioneering multi-pronged approach to tackling the problem.

The organisation's digital team is building a directory of everywhere in Scotland which provides face-to-face help in accessing the internet for people who are just starting out on their digital journey.

On top of this, funding has been found for 100 internships – for six weeks duration and each paid the living wage – to work with charities on their online and social media strategies.

SCVO is also running a series of events throughout the country – including at next year's Gathering – to better connect people involved in digital inclusion and it is urging charities and other organisations to sign up to a charter which is aimed at encouraging online engagement.

Chris Yiu, SCVO's director of digital participation, told attendees that attempting to engage as many of the missing 1.3 million as possible will help them engage with their communities. We can't sit back and do nothing, he said, highlighting that society wouldn't have the same attitude to reading and writing if there was a comparable lag.

The meeting also heard that many small charities are also falling behind and are missing out by, for example, not having donation functions on their websites.



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over 7 years ago
I read so many articles and hear so many presentations from people who are horrified that such a high proportion of Scots are not digitally connected. When you talk to those who are enthusiastic you often find a very narrow minded attitude that assumes everyone is interested in being connected and that they can't do without it. When questioned about the cost, they say "ah but is so cheap you can get an iPad now for under £100". My response is wow, so you think the pensioner receiving just over £100 a week is going to consider this a top priority?As you will already have realised, I'm not all that enthusiastic, connecting is a chore for me, I do it because I have to but more often than not my phone is switched off and I only receive e-mails when I log on. I don't really want to be altered so that I can respond instantaneously. I'm not worried if people have to wait to speak to me because I am walking the dog or gardening. And, as to Twitter, I don't really want to be sent notes on someone's location or who they have bumped in to, where they are about to eat, what they had for lunch etc etc.I've tried SMART phones and iPhones and hate the tiny screen and the miniscule keyboard that results in almost every word I type being spelt wrong.I am particularly worried by the oft stated "opportunity" of digital communication being a substitute for socialising, what nonsense. I worry that this is being used to encourage less travelling especially in relation to isolated elderly people, maintaining mobility is so important, suggesting a meeting can be carried out digitally leads to inactivity and decline in health.Sorry to sound like a dinosaur but for many people my age and older who have lived through so many technological changes that have come and gone in a flash, we are switched off. We realise that Tweeting could just be a fad, that engaging with technology is an expense that we simply cannot justify. We are comfortable with writing a letter that requires a stamp or phoning a number where we will speak to a person who can help or actually arranging to meet someone face to face are all likely to continue. Threaten us all you want with saying we will be left out.........I for one am not really all that bothered.