A little under a week ago I posted a list of funding opportunities with a number of ideas for bringing digital literacy into the community. A couple of people have taken me up on one of those ideas and we are working towards an application to the Samsung Digitall Hope initiative…

The basic idea so far:

People in Australia who have the finances to own and run a reliable computer and broadband network connection, and who also have a safe and supportive home environment including a family member or friend who is network literate and willing to assist – are people with considerable advantages in Australia’s increasingly network reliant economy. Many young people in Australia do not have these advantages and are as a result experiencing a widening social divide and disconnection with that economy.

This project seeks to address this divide through an innovative approach to access provisioning and skills sharing. We aim to establish community support for free wireless ‘hotspots’; distribute wireless enabled mobile phones and PDA’s to young individuals; and teach how to use mobile devices to create and access media and communicate freely on wireless networks.

We believe that wireless enabled mobile devices – coupled with free wireless ‘hotspots’ in areas that suit the movements of young people, better meets the needs of young people in terms of portability, mobility and ease of use, 24/7 access, the potential for the development of a personal affiliation with the technology, and a significant reduction in the cost to engage in network communications.

With suitable teaching in the effective use of the devices, including how to create audio recordings, photos, and videos; how to manage personal websites and distribute and share their own media; and how to communicate freely through VOIP, IM, and email; we are certain that the participants will be excited by the possibilities and willing to own and engage with the technology. We aim to make sure through this innovative approach, that young people who are normally at a disadvantage with technology are not just ‘given access’ but are significantly empowered to a point where they are at an advantage with the technology and inspired by it.

That’s the concept at this stage… any comments or advice would be appreciated.

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