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Towards an inclusive digital literacy framework for digital India

Prema P. Nedungadi (Center for Research in Analytics & Technology in Education, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kollam India)
Rajani Menon (Center for Research in Analytics & Technology in Education, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kollam India)
Georg Gutjahr (Center for Research in Analytics & Technology in Education, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kollam India)
Lynnea Erickson (University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)
Raghu Raman (Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, India)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 2 July 2018

Issue publication date: 3 August 2018

3964

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate an Inclusive Digital Literacy Framework for vulnerable populations in rural areas under the Digital India program. Key challenges include addressing multiple literacies such as health literacy, financial literacy and eSafety for low-literate learners in low-resource settings with low internet bandwidth, lack of ICT facilities and intermittent electricity.

Design/methodology/approach

This research implemented an educational model based on the proposed framework to train over 1,000 indigenous people using an integrated curriculum for digital literacies at remote settlements. The model uses mobile technology adapted for remote areas, context enabled curriculum, along with flexible learning schedules.

Findings

The education model exemplifies a viable strategy to overcome persistent challenges by taking tablet-based digital literacies directly to communities. It engages different actors such as existing civil societies, schools and government organizations to provide digital literacy and awareness thereby improving both digital and life skills. It demonstrates the potential value of a comprehensive Digital Literacy framework as a powerful lever for Digital Inclusion.

Practical Implications

Policy makers can use this transformational model to extend the reach and effectiveness of Digital Inclusion through the last mile enhancing existing training and service centers that offer the traditional model of Digital Literacy Education.

Originality/value

This innovative mobile learning model based on the proposed Digital Framework for Inclusion instilled motivation, interest and confidence while providing effective digital training and conducting exams directly in the tribal settlements for low-literate learners in remote settings. Through incorporating multiple literacies, this model serves to empower learners, enhance potential, improve well-being and reduce the risk of exploitation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Training in education, literacies and skills at over 100 rural villages in 21 states of India, with the goal of making them self-reliant, is supported by Mata Amritanandamayi Math, an NGO with consultative status at UN-ECOSOC and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. The digital literacy education project to train and certify 1,000 indigenous people in Digital Literacy and Awareness in tribal settlements using tablets is, supported by Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MeitY), Governemnt of India. Awareness in Computer Course is an initiative of NIELT (National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology), under MeitY.

Citation

Nedungadi, P.P., Menon, R., Gutjahr, G., Erickson, L. and Raman, R. (2018), "Towards an inclusive digital literacy framework for digital India", Education + Training, Vol. 60 No. 6, pp. 516-528. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-03-2018-0061

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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