New research links digital inclusion and social impact

Some research from Ipsos Mori tells us what we already knew, that using the internet can make disadvantaged people’s lives better. This from the report from 24dash:

Based on 20 UK online centre-led projects involving hundreds of local partners, the research tracked the impact of informal learning about technology on the lives of different groups, including those with mental health issues, families in poverty, isolated older people and teenage parents.

More than 12,000 people took part in the social impact demonstrator projects between January 2007 and March 2008. By the end of the project, participants were more likely to feel confident, and 40% had progressed into further training, employment, information, advice and guidance.

Working with the computers helped to improve people’s maths and English, and they were more likely to spend time with friends and family, and more likely to connect with and help out in their communities.

Having some research to point to is great though, and adds to the momentum gathering around the notion of ‘digital mentors’ being bandied around by Communities and Local Government, and being tied into other roles, such as the social reporters.

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