Monthly Archives: May 2014

Bridging the Digital Divide

I have been giving a lot of thought recently to digital inclusion and this timely post from Brett Sadler sums up the challenges confronting not only housing but also the health and care sectors in a digitally connected society. The pace of technology change is phenomenal and there is an urgent need for a UK wide cross sector digital vision and strategy.

With so many different digital projects, pilots and initiatives underway there is a real risk and cost of duplicating services which may already be provided by another organisation in the local area. The paradox is that we are not using technology effectively to connect the formal and informal resources already available in communities.

About four in 10 people aged 65 and over do not have access to the internet at home while more than five million over-65s have never used the internet. According to academics it would cost £875m to teach the 6.2 million people who lack basic online skills.

The reality is that just getting people online is not the answer. We need to be investing in building connected communities which acknowledge and celebrate the richness of skills and knowledge available in every street in the country which can be harnessed for the good of a community.

Whilst I have some concerns with the recent Policy Exchange report suggesting that access to the internet is a panacea for the wider problems of social isolation and loneliness I do believe that we can use digital technology creatively to build networks of connected support around an individual.

Connected care needs different partnerships and collaborations to transform the delivery of care & support and to bridge the digital divide. The Housing Goes Digital events have really encouraged new thinking in the sector. I would now like to see a series of Care in the Digital Age events which inspire staff and people who use services from across housing, care, health, charities and social enterprises to collaborate in exploring how to embed digital innovations as an integral part of the support available within communities.

I believe that exciting people about the potential for digital technology to improve and enhance the quality of their lives is the way forward for digital inclusion.

Brett Sadler

ImageI consider myself quite a tech savvy person and I can certainly see the benefits to #ukhousing staff and customers of being digital included, but with digital inclusion being one of my areas of responsibility, tackling this area has been no walk in the park.

I’ve been drafting a digital inclusion strategy for several months now. It’s not that I can’t write the strategy, it’s that technology is changing so fast.

So let’s go back to the start of my journey. When researching the digital inclusion strategy, two quotes jumped out at me:

  • Research has shown that getting someone online can save them an average of £560 a year and has benefits for education, employment and retirement.
  • The introduction of Universal Credit will also mean that going online is the only way to apply for and manage Universal Credit applications for the majority of those in receipt of benefits.

These…

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Why the Bromford Innovation Lab is only recruiting via Twitter

The use of social media has an increasingly important role in helping people to collaborate, build relationships, share information and resources and as of today find a job. 

A challenge to conventional recruitment the #BromfordLab recruiting through Twitter has certainly generated a lot of interest. The responses to this very new way of recruiting will be interesting as applicants are being asked to demonstrate their skills, experience and social influence within their relevant communities through web content such as community engagement on social networks, blogs and other searchable publications.

I wonder whether the Open Badges movement a new online standard to recognize and verify learning will become increasingly important as people are able to display their skills and achievements on social networking profiles, job sites and websites.

I was struck by the concerns expressed about people being digitally excluded and Paul Taylor’s response that “the first thing @ConnectBromford do is is to let people know being offline excludes you from job market and that they provide support to help people get online”. I believe every organisation has a responsibility to ensure that their community is digitally included and that digital engagement is seen as a core part of their business.

The social CV is a growing trend and I am inclined to agree with Vala Afshar who pioneered this approach in the US “the future of talent acquisition is being social”

Paul Taylor

twitter-shortcuts

Imagine a future where you don’t have a CV or resume. A future where your talent and achievements are broken down into tweetable chunks. Your professional life , and a good bit of your personal too, is available online for all to see. You are scored according to your worth and the value of your followers. Your score can determine whether you get that job interview – Me , March 2013 – How Social Media Could Get You Your Next Job 

The first and only time I start a post quoting myself. Honest.

Next week marks the launch of the Bromford Innovation Lab – a new venture that we are very excited about.

What makes it different is the way it will work.

It consists of Lab sessions each lasting 12 weeks and run four times a year. During those 12 weeks we’ll be hosting a number of problems…

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