It is easy to assume NI is digitally connected and everyone has a smart phone or computer at home. The reality is this is not the case and many homes are forced to choose between buying larger data allowances or buying electricity and food.
Kate Clifford sets out a cogent case against privilege in this article.
I remember sitting in rooms filled with civil servants crowing about how Northern Ireland had the best digital platform in the world.
A claim that was patently not true if you even took a second to survey the rest of the world.
A claim that was even more embarrassing when you excluded developing countries from your survey.
Society is feeling the effects of the digital divide even in areas which are well served with hardware and broadband. At home, my own broadband is creaking under the strain of multiple zoom calls, content delivery by iPlayer and YouTube. Imagine then being in an area poorly served.
The hardware issue is….also difficult. I’ve offered Raspberry Pi computers from my Dojo (and given away a couple) and also given away two slightly ageing Chromebooks – in an attempt to get people up and running. But a lot of content out there just isn’t accessible on more open platforms. It just won’t run on slower computers.
And don’t get me started on Classroom 2000.