In my years of working across communities across south east London (21 this year), there have been many consistent issues and themes in delivering the support of older people and those differently abled. As an attempt in changing my practice to cover a wider range of devices and promote better learner outcomes, the Internet City has been created as a metaphor-place for dealing with busy, populated and diverse communications.
With the advent of different messaging platforms creating more noise, and corporate push to own many brands (financially and ‘thoughtspace’), navigating the City is like visiting a new place, learning some of the strange talk, technology and attitudes which shift in tides and waves huge and largely unknown.
Simply put: telling someone to Google the name of a singer in a 1970’s rock band is using an advertising company to present lots of information about purchasing opportunities before actually finding the name – of course it may be hidden in a preview, but that’s more looking. How about showing someone to get to their local library online first and going from there? Maybe even setting up a Wikipedia app. The one situation becomes a trusted scenario for information, and promoting local libraries is a worthy and trusted cause.
The example has its flaws, but the point remains that anyone attempting to gain ‘digital literacy’ needs to orientate and navigate with their goals as they would on a visit to any foreign city.