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Angela Valentine


United States

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The pandemic has exacerbated the digital skills divide, with underserved communities falling further behind in the ability to navigate and utilize digital technologies. The transition to remote work, education, and services has accentuated the disparities in digital literacy and access, making it increasingly difficult for those in underserved areas to keep pace with the digital demands of the pandemic. Efforts to address the digital skills divide have been initiated since the onset of the pandemic, but the problem persists and, in some cases, has intensified. While initiatives to provide devices and internet access have made headway, the continuous advancements in technology and the growing dependency on digital platforms pose ongoing challenges. The gap in digital literacy remains a pressing issue, particularly for individuals in rural areas, low-income households, and other marginalized groups, underscoring the need for sustained efforts to bridge this divide. Addressing this divide requires a collective approach that goes beyond the efforts of school systems. It is essential to mobilize a community of digital learning advocates to provide the necessary training and resources to enhance digital skills in underserved communities. Many community members are eager to contribute, but they often lack the knowledge and training on the tools available to support individuals beyond the school environment. Feedback on these tools and resources has revealed concerns about their complexity and lack of sustainability, highlighting the need for accessible and user-friendly solutions. As more individuals fall behind in acquiring essential digital skills, a swift and creative response is needed with the help and support of our community partners to provide lasting solutions and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to thrive in today's digital world.

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