City aims to improve digital literacy

October 8, 2020 BY

THE City of Greater Geelong is aiming to help residents stay connected and informed during COVID-19 with its Enhancing Digital Access for the Community initiative.

The council has gradually transitioned many of its programs and services to digital platforms and is hoping to aid community members who may have trouble accessing them.

City of Greater Geelong chief executive officer Martin Cutter said teaching residents these skills would improve inclusivity.

“Ensuring all members of the community, including the elderly and those from diverse cultural backgrounds, can access services and interact with the city and council is paramount.”

A “how-to” reference page will be set up on the city’s website. It will include step-by-step guides and instructional videos, as well as giving people the option to request hard copy instructions.

Council employees will also be available to assist people by phone or via digital platforms such as Zoom and Skype.

In addition to helping people access council resources, the program will also offer broader teaching to help people develop their digital literacy.

This will include workshops held in partnership with libraries, neighbourhood houses and other community organisations.

Mr Cutter said this would have significant social benefits.

“Increasing digital literacy skills will also help community members virtually connect with family and friends, which can reduce feelings of isolation and improve wellbeing.”

Council has allocated $25,000 from its COVID-19 support measures package to the initiative.