Conference for digital equality
But what was it all about? Besides giving an overview of the chances and opportunities of the information society, the conference that was held in November discussed the dangers affecting those with the most expertise: the members of the Z generation who were born into an online environment. Like at previous events, an interesting programme awaited the guests who appeared in great numbers. On 28th November, it was already the 7th time that the DE! conference was organised. What is the aim of the organisers? Keeping in mind its professional responsibility towards the civil society, the John von Neumann Computer Society (NSZJT) initiated a national movement under the name of Digital Equality to include everybody as valuable members of the information society within a short time and to make the opportunity and skills to use computers and the internet available for everybody.
A short summary. The event was opened by Ferenc Friedler, the chairman of the NJSZT, which was followed by the talk of György Bőgel. He started with a shocking prediction: in 2015, there will be 900.000 professional experts of IT missing in the EU and the situation won’t be any better in the United States either. Meanwhile, in Asia, there is a growing interest in Computer Sciences and in certain countries of Africa, intelligent communities are being built. Where is the creative elite heading to in the respective countries and is the Globe flat or spikey? The answer can be found in the trio of technology, talent and tolerance. Sándor Kürti talked about the online interactive language education of the underprivileged and introduced the Tabello educational method that is available free of charge. The event closed with the talk by Éva Sós and Pál Miletics about the growing relationship between smart phones and electronic healthcare. They introduced the newest apps, a Hungarian case study, the patient-doctor communication that is supported by mobile phones and the circle of users.
A little definition. What is Digital Equality? Digital equality is in fact a movement that was created by the NJSZT. The aim of the movement is to give everybody the chance to be equal members in the digital society that is rapidly developing, because equality can contribute to the significant improvement of life quality and competence. This means that everybody should be able to access broadband internet, own a computer or laptop and be able to benefit from the possibilities offered by the internet. To this belong the strong basic level computer skills and the ability to use basic programmes, etc. How can this equality be made possible? The goal can be reached by the creation of a pan-societal movement – according to the website of the John von Neumann Computer Society.
On the one hand, the programme must contain those state-funded infrastructural investments that are aimed at that 10% of the country that is not reached by the private sector. On the other hand, it must take into consideration that the concept does not only include the knowledge needed to operate PCs and the internet. An important aspect of it is critical thinking, the collection of information from different sources, its compilation, the handling of contacts through different channels, the possibility of self-expression in a digital environment, the implementation of traditional contents in digital forms and its complementation. A computer that is connected to a network is, in itself, not enough to find relevant information and services on the web, for this one needs a lot of practise and through this, new knowledge and skills.
Within the frames of the Digital Equality programme, besides the implementation of its own initiatives, NJSZT offers alliance for all initiatives pointing in this direction, including programmes aimed at bridging the gap between society and the elderly, disabled and socially underprivileged.
Written by Veronika Szőnyi
Translated by Judit Molnár