Helping migrants navigate technology

By Shepparton News

A trial program to help new migrants with digital technology has been run in Shepparton.

The Australian Digital Inclusion Index developed the program to help learn more about the barriers migrants face when using technology and the effect it has on the community.

The ADII works to make sure everyone in Australia has access to the educational, social, health and financial benefits of digital technologies and aims keep everyone connected.

The pilot program took place at St Paul’s African House and focused on teaching new migrants digital skills and how to teach them to help other people in their community.

Swinburne University research fellow and ADII principal analyst ?? helped deliver the program and said it gave new insights as to why more than two million people in Australia are not digitally included.

‘‘The idea of this program was to see whether this type of teaching can not only help digital skills in the community but also build those other benefits such as employability skills and how they can use those skills to find work,’’ Mr Wilson said.

The program, supported Telstra, saw more than 20 people take part in the seven sessions.

Mr Wilson said the trial also gave the ADII new cultural and social insights to focus on in the future to help people use technology.

‘‘It’s just not about the skills training, it’s just not about be able to use a piece of technology, but those intergenerational skills around valuing older people and be able to think about what language we need to use when people aren’t familiar with particular technology,’’ he said.

The findings from the study will continue to be investigated and will be developed as a case study in this year’s ADII report.

Program participant Zainab took part in the trial because she worked with older people and often needed to help her mother with technology.

‘‘It has really helped me because it teaches me how to teach my mum different techniques, so it has made teaching her a lot easier now,’’ she said.