Digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking
Technology continues to profoundly affect the way we work, collaborate, communicate and succeed. Those who have the opportunity to learn technology skills are in a better position to obtain and make use of technology than those who do not. Consequently digital divide is now seen rather as a factor of education than wealth. In fact, young people in Mozambique are keen to learn technology skills fo all aspects of daily living to balance demands from home, school, work and friends.
Making broadband accessible for all
In a technical sense, broadband is about bandwidth and speed for digital data transmission, facilitating data services like communication, computing and mobile internet access. In short and more widely, it has the capacity to deliver data and foster innovation that “fit for the purpose”.
Research supports that wide access and use of broadband contributes to economic growth, helps to close the digital divide, and supports social inclusion. This is of particular interest for emerging economies like Mozambique, where the impact of broadband and mobile internet still remains low, with the exception of urban growth centers.
Wireless technologies, like mobile internet 3G, are providing important connectivity to rural communities and emerging markets in general. In this context it is worthwhile to mention that while ICT use is constrained by access, it is not necessarily enabled by access. It demands joint efforts to put the internet into people’s hands and mind to benefit in real-life situations. For our part we will focus on content and skills development with an understanding that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking.
Cloud computing transforms the way users of the internet think about computing and communication, data storage and access, and collaborative work. It transforms once-expensive resources like disc storage and data processing into a commodity that is readily available and rather cheap, thus helping people, small businesses and schools saving money and resources.
Development platforms put onto the cloud infrastructure enable client web-based applications for image editing, word processing, social networking, and media creation. Many of us use the cloud, or cloud based applications, without even being aware of it. Applications including Google docs, YouTube, Flickr, and many others use the cloud as their platform, using storage space and computing resources from a vast collection of networked computers as needed.
The trend goes to browser-based software that is device-independent. This will open doors for more flexibility, more space, more collaboration, and ultimately, more creative use of internet resources. However, one must be aware that the promise of cost savings – when using web apps “For Free” – comes at the costs of privacy and control.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer presents “Office 365” for “cloud computing” (SZ – 28/06/2011)
Google dominates today office-like cloud computing with its tool “Google docs” that allows producing and sharing online text documents, tables and presentations. Microsoft, the world’s leading office software producer, also follows the growing importance to simultaneously work over distance on documents without the need of installed MS Office software on a computer or store and exchange data locally. For private use the new cloud computing application is offered for free.