We are working to increase the number of people using digital services by helping communities to develop digital skills and confidence.
Our digital participation strategy A National Framework for Local Action, published in April 2014, set out how we will encourage people and businesses to get online and enjoy the opportunities offered by digital technology.
In our national digital strategy, Realising Scotland's full potential in a digital world, we aim to:
- launch a new round of funding for community digital inclusion projects and expand Scotland's Digital Participation Charter to get more organisations involved in a national movement to promote digital skills
- use the Year of Young People in 2018 to establish a clear commitment to digital rights and responsibilities
Developing basic digital skills
We are inviting organisations across Scotland to sign up to a Digital Participation Charter to commit to promoting digital participation and basic digital skills.
The Digital Participation Charter Fund was established in 2014 to support participation projects in communities across Scotland. To date over 120 projects have been supported, working with over 15,000 people.
We funded Let's Get Online, which helps people develop basic internet skills and confidence. In 2016 the Let's Get Online campaign carried out 100 days of activity in 60 cities, towns and villages across Scotland including Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles with 14,000 people receiving help.
Encouraging digital creativity
As well as increasing people's use of digital technology, we are encouraging them to use it creatively through activities classed as 'digital making'. These include coding, computer programming and electronic music development.
We are supporting a number of digital making organisations and initiatives, including:
- a Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC) project to install publicly accessible 3D printers in libraries throughout Scotland, to which we've given £76,000 of funding
- Digital Xtra is a fund to encourage young people to express themselves through digital technology while learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills.
- CoderDojo Scotland, runs a network of volunteer-led Coding Clubs for teaching digitally creative skills to young people, particularly those in deprived areas
We have partnered with a number of organisations to look at making internet access more affordable. We have funded the extension of free public wifi to 96% of all libraries in Scotland.