Get Online Week is a digital inclusion campaign by Good Things Foundation and supported by Bendigo Bank. Running from October 16-22, the initiative aims to support people to get online and feel confident in using online tools and solutions in their everyday lives.
1 in 4 Australians are currently digitally excluded. Those most at risk include older people, people with disability, low-income families and First Nations people. Get Online Week offers free educational events and resources to empower more people to feel confident using online tools.
Here are 6 important benefits of building digital literacy.
1. Social connection
Getting online can open up a whole new world of social connection. Whether it’s reconnecting with old friends and family through social media, making video calls to those near or far, or joining online community groups, there are endless ways to build and maintain meaningful connections online. Online socialisation can help to combat social isolation and loneliness in Australia.
2. Online banking
Online management of your money can save the hassle of trips to your local bank branch. Secure transactions to take place from your computer or smart device. You can also find banking support online, from troubleshooting account issues to account management and fraud prevention.
3. Access to healthcare
Telehealth and e-consults are growing in popularity. Secure online platforms can connect patients to healthcare professionals from the comfort and safety of their own home. Getting online can increase access to healthcare and health information, particularly for people with disabilities and remote or rural communities.
4. Access to e-commerce
Getting online can reduce the physical demands of independent living. Online grocery shopping and other e-commerce sites means you can get the things you need delivered to your door.
5. Education and work-ready skills
Online literacy is a desirable skill in candidates across a range of industries. Getting online can also help you upskill or change careers, and find suitable work opportunities.
6. Access to information
Getting online provides access to news and information on a local and global scale. Staying up to date with world events and having access to important information about issues that affect you helps keep you safe and informed when it matters most.
How to support your loved ones to get online
If you’re helping your friends, family or community to access online tools and resources, these tips may help.
Take it slow. Online functionality can feel unfamiliar and overwhelming to those who don’t use it often.
Avoid jargon. Online language uses acronyms and shorthand that have become commonplace in our everyday conversations. Keep your communication and terminology clear and simple.
Work with their hobbies and interests. Finding ways to incorporate online experiences with things that interest them, like gardening, cooking, history or music, can help build motivation and engagement.
Prioritise security. Scams are on the rise in Australia, and vulnerable people are often primary targets. Conversations about online security and protection of personal information is an important part of helping others get online.
93 per cent of people have learned something new at Get Online Week events. Head to Get Online Week for more helpful resources and information on how to get involved and help your loved ones and local community build confidence in their online capabilities.