Teach a person to surf….
I often hear the Chinese proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to think of what a 2012 version would be but I believe in today’s world it would refer to digital literacy.
Many of you will know Australia has one of the highest telecommunications proliferations in the world. Today, Australia has one of the highest take-up of mobile communications in the world with 29 million mobile subscriptions expected by the end of 2012 and around 130% mobile phone penetration in Australia. Today, around 50% of Australians own a smartphone and smartphones and tablet ownership in Australia continues to rise. In 2013 it is predicted around 75% of Australians will have a smartphone and 46% own a tablet.
In Australia, a 2010-2011 ABS survey determinate that approximately 79% of households had the internet at home – but on the flip side this meant around 21% (or in the vicinity of 1,796,000 households) did not.
We’re seeing a digitalisation of almost everything from Government services and information to birthday invites and photo albums. In fact, active civic participation now often means having a voice online. In addition, the introduction of an NBN will create further opportunities and I suspect significantly change the way we work and how services (such as health) are delivered. But not all Australians are enjoying this connectivity. In fact, many of the people who can benefit the most from the digital age don’t know how to connect.
Digital literacy is critical for all Australians to enjoy the benefits of being connected and it’s something Telstra is passionate about.
With the help of ‘the Gadget Guy’ Peter Blasina, Telstra has been running internet training workshops for more than four years and October saw some big firsts for these workshops.
Telstra helped around 5000 Australians participate in the Everyone Connected training sessions (incorporating some of our programs such as Connected Seniors) around the country. These training programsprovide Australians (in particular senior Australians) with the skills and knowledge to get online, in today’s digital age it’s about teaching a person to get online so they can have those skills for a lifetime.
In an innovative development to the program, Telstra video streamed training to regional and remote areas of the Northern Territory. On 15th October Telstra delivered Mobiles and Smartphones Training in the auditorium of the Parliament House Library in Darwin, which was streamed live to all Libraries with the facilities across the Territory. More than 1600 people participated in the event.
More than 3000 regional Victorians attended large scale training sessions held in Victoria in Mildura, Shepparton and Bendigo which were supported by local High School students. This partnership made it possible to ensure that all the training and coaching was hands on, and one on one.
Telstra also works in NBN enabled areas to help the entire community benefit from being connected. Everyone Connected training sessions were held in Deloraine and Sorrell in Tasmania.
Through these sessions we’ve witnessed participants texting for the first time, emailing loved ones and grandparents connecting with grandchildren. For me, connecting Australians with the things and people they love is what really counts.
Do you have co-workers, friends or relatives who are still catching up to 21st Century connectivity?