On 7 September 2017, Dame Martha Lane Fox secured and led a debate in the House of Lords on the need for greater digital understanding in the UK.
The important distinction in this context is the difference between digital skills and digital understanding.
Martha uses the example of performing an online search. Almost all internet users knows how to do that, but only half know how to distinguish between search results and advertisements.
‘We need to recapture some of the internet’s original promise and more of it’s transformative power. That means we need to understand – at all levels of society – what our digital world really is…
…I cannot stress how vital it is that we – parliamentarians and policymakers – absorb and engage with the realities of how digital technologies work.’
It is crucial that we take this stuff seriously in Government policy and digital teams. What are we doing to close these knowledge gaps? How can we acknowledge and reflect these realities in the policies we develop and the services we deliver?
I haven’t even come close to doing the full speech justice. Here it is. It’s a longer read, but so worth it.