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The Importance of Digital Equity

Digital equity. What is it? The Internet Society Foundation defines it as “the state where every person and community has the necessary information and technology resources to participate in society, democracy, and the economy fully. The term encompasses not only access to devices and the Internet, but also the ability to use and benefit from them effectively. According to National Digital Inclusion Alliance, it is crucial for active involvement in civic and cultural affairs, employment, continuous learning, and access to vital services.” 

Why is it important for us to be fighting for digital equity? Here are three reasons! 

  1. Services

Supporting digital equity is crucial in today's interconnected world, particularly as it facilitates individuals in accessing essential services. By ensuring equitable access to digital resources, we empower people to apply for services efficiently and effectively. Whether it's healthcare, education, employment opportunities, or government assistance, many vital services have transitioned online. However, without equitable access to digital tools and the internet, marginalized communities face barriers in navigating these systems. Bridging the digital divide not only promotes fairness and inclusivity but also enhances individuals' ability to access the services they need to thrive in society. Therefore, prioritizing digital equity is not just a matter of convenience but a fundamental aspect of ensuring equal opportunities and rights for all members of our society.

  1. Community

In the digital age, the virtual realm serves as a powerful platform for fostering a sense of community among individuals across the globe. Through social media platforms, online forums, and virtual gatherings, people from diverse backgrounds can connect, share experiences, and form meaningful relationships irrespective of physical distances. Whether it's through online support groups, shared interest communities, or collaborative projects, the digital world provides avenues for people to come together, exchange ideas, and offer support. Additionally, platforms like video conferencing have made it possible for friends and family members to stay connected in real-time, transcending geographical boundaries. This sense of digital community not only enriches individual lives but also contributes to a more interconnected and empathetic global society, where people can find belonging and solidarity regardless of physical proximity.

  1. Education 

Ensuring digital equity is imperative for educational purposes, as it directly impacts students' ability to access and benefit from modern learning resources and opportunities. In today's digital age, education increasingly relies on technology, ranging from online textbooks and educational websites to interactive learning platforms and virtual classrooms. However, without equitable access to digital tools and the internet, students from underserved communities face significant disadvantages in their educational journey. The digital divide exacerbates existing inequalities, hindering students' ability to complete assignments, conduct research, collaborate with peers, and engage in distance learning. By addressing digital equity issues, such as providing affordable internet access, distributing devices to students in need, and ensuring digital literacy training, educational institutions can level the playing field and empower all learners to thrive academically. Moreover, equitable access to digital resources fosters innovation, creativity, and critical thinking skills, preparing students for success in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. Therefore, prioritizing digital equity in education is not only a matter of fairness but also essential for promoting inclusive and effective learning environments where every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Bluebird has received a grant to help support digital equity and we are excited to help our community in this way!

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