New Report Details Need for Greater Access and Digital Literacy in Central Richmond
As part of its multi-agency effort to support families living in Central Richmond, the BBK Collaborative is committed to ensuring that families have digital literacy skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century.
In the summer of 2013, the Collaborative’s Digital Literacy Working Group surveyed 469 Richmond residents about their technology needs. Our survey inquired whether residents have ready access to computers and the internet and assessed what residents were able to do online. The Working Group also hosted three focus groups to better understand the most common challenges residents encounter in using digital technologies. Together, these research efforts help paint a picture of current digital literacy needs in the BBK Zone.
The Collaborative has published the findings of this research in a new report titled Community Connections: A Roadmap for Advancing Digital Literacy and Access in Richmond’s Iron Triangle. In addition to a detailed look at our findings, the report also contains recommendations on how to improve access and digital literacy in Central Richmond, and lessons from digital literacy efforts in other communities.
Our most important findings:
- One in three residents (67%) does not have access to the internet at home. The cost of internet service and limited digital literacy are the primary barriers to home internet access.
- Two out of five residents do not own a working computer. Residents are increasingly using new devices to get online, but mobile phone and tablet use trails behind the rest of California.
- Residents who want internet access outside the home have few options within the BBK Zone. Computer stations at the library are a valuable resource for Richmond residents, but overstretched space and staff capacity limit what residents are able to do online.
- An estimated half of BBK Zone residents are regular computer and internet users. However, few residents are using the internet to access government resources, find health information, or visit school websites.
- An estimated one in three residents uses computers infrequently, or not at all. These residents may not know how to type, use email, open internet browsers, or search for information online.