Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsWhen was the last time you spent the day without making use of digital technology? Is it even possible to do that in the modern world? Over the last three decades the world has been transformed by a series of profound technological changes.
Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds Digital technology is now ubiquitous within our modern society: it's used for work, education, entertainment; social, economic and political activities. Access to the internet and digital communications has given the everyday citizen the opportunity to publish their opinions openly and widely to a global audience. This has led to the internet being described as the 'great democratiser', providing us with open access to a world of information.
Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds However, there are still huge inequalities in the access to communication, both on an international and intranational level: 60% of the world's population is still offline. Over the past couple of decades we have grappled with terms such as the digital native, millennials, digital residents and visitors to describe and decipher what it means to connect - every day - with this new technology; to work out what it is to be digitally literate. Is digital literacy simply a question of technical proficiency? Or does it also require an ability to engage with that technology in a socially responsible way? We have seen how the internet has become a tremendously powerful medium, providing access to information and facilitating engagement in social and political debate.
Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds We've also seen the risks that have come with sharing information and engaging online: we've witnessed the huge cost - both economically and personally - of internet security breaches; and we're now faced with the sobering statistic that up to half the online population has been the victim of cyberbullying or abuse. How then do we move forward to ensuring safe and responsible use of these technologies? How can we develop and harness our understanding of the powers and the risks of the internet, as we use it to engage in our social, economic and political endeavours? In short, how do we become a digital citizen?