Digital Literacy & Digital Infrastructure in 2021
As the world becomes more digital, we look to a brighter future with opportunities. The impact of the epidemic on communities around the world is profound, especially as it relates to equality. Long-term gender stereotypes, racism, income, and age inequality have worsened during the epidemic, and these marginalized groups had little power to combat their effects. Social inequalities - including access to health care, education, technology, and financial security - have made them more vulnerable to the effects of short-term and long-term illness.
As the world becomes more digital, we look to a brighter future with opportunities. But we must first face the obvious truth: Without carefully considering how we make decisions and who benefits from the consequences, we run the risk of reducing our chances of participating in the digital economy of billions of people.
Everyone should have access to quality and affordable education, health care, and other tools that will allow them to participate and thrive in the digital economy. Technology should be used in a meaningful way for the benefit of all.
As we move toward what we hope are the stages of the end of the epidemic, There are opportunities for growth in three key areas: communication, critical understanding, and digital learning.
We cannot call digital integration until we build a digital infrastructure that supports all organizations - from rural hospitals in Uganda to farms in Kansas.
Solving connectivity issues is the first step to closing the digital divide and address digital inclusion. While COVID was heating up the world and schools were closed last year, we heard stories of students who did not have full schooling facilities outside fast-food restaurants because their families did not have Internet access. Companies - including Hewlett Packard Enterprise - have responded by providing Wi-Fi accommodations on buses, in parking lots, and the passenger compartment. While it works well, these are all temporary solutions. In the long run, we should provide seamless, ubiquitous, and secure connections.
Access to WI-FI connectivity is fundamental to digital integration, which is a gateway to critical services such as remote learning and telemedicine. It is essential to life in 2021 and beyond, which is why I say communication should be seen as an important service, such as electricity or water. We have the technology today to solve this challenge and we can make the communication of all of them real.
With the advent of technology accelerating, we are nearing the end of the information age, which has focused on producing and collecting large amounts of data - our digital world - from clothing and smart devices to health records and scientific research. That brings us to the time of understanding, which is reflected in the analysis of the data that makes the data that leads to today's discovery impossible.
Governments, hospitals, nonprofits, and others should eventually gain access to tools that analyze their petabytes of data - historically neglected and stagnant data. By digitizing these organizations, people can make important discoveries in areas such as accurate treatment, public health, food security, and extreme weather events. Well, the details are just as complete - and useful - as data. If all people do not have medical records, if all regions do not have weather information.
We cannot call for digital inclusion until we build a digital infrastructure that supports all organizations, from rural hospitals in Uganda to farms in Kansas.
New business models enhance our ability to make the latest technology available to most organizations, regardless of size or location. With a focus on building affordable digital infrastructure, HPE and other technology companies can provide an equal amount of understanding that can ultimately solve the most complex social challenges.
Technology and education have long been regarded as proven channels of economic development. But obstacles are mounting. More than half of the adult population lacked basic digital knowledge and skills to comprehend the remote work and education changes when offices and schools around the world were suddenly shut down due to COVID-19, as per the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
As education systems continue to use online learning tools, and as more jobs become remote or digitally-based, students and staff without tools, internet access, and information to participate in risk of loss. STEM is a very important part of digital literacy, which encourages a growing generation of diverse technology designers and intelligent digital citizens. For everyone to participate in the digital economy, they need not only the right technology but also the skills to use it.
Looking ahead, we need innovations and digital transformation to speed up the global epidemic as a key factor in restarting how companies, communities, and governments work together to embrace the introduction of new digital technologies, including democratic processes. We need to be personally accountable to ensure digital literacy in our communities. And we need to make sure that the understanding we collect is a driving force for everyone.
We cannot continue to invest, create, and innovate in various ways that improve the lives of a select few. We must bring balance to our world and rethink the new way forward.