How to Make Electronics Accessible for Everyone?

Over the last few decades our reliance on electronic devices has increased exponentially. The average UK home now has 10.3 internet-enabled devices, and with more and more smart devices hitting the market every day, that figure is only set to increase.

But as we move towards a more ‘connected’ world, how can we make sure people aren’t being left behind?

Education

It’s not just our home lives that are changing as a result of technology, it’s our education too. Over the course of 12 months, nearly every school aged child has used technology to connect to their peers and teachers.

Teachers and educators today must not only be experts in their field, but also be well-versed in using technology. So, it’s important that teachers are trained and that’s where companies like Okdo come in. Richard Curtin, co-founder of Okdo, recognise that ” we need to make sure that educators and teachers feel comfortable and confident to use and teach that technology. And we’ve had some experience where we’ve worked with educators where they’ve been given a board, a single ball computer, and it’s been too complicated that they’re scared to use it. Thanks to the Okdo and BBC Microbit collaboration, It’s really simple. It’s not scary. The code is all drag and drop, teachers around the world are getting trained on it. ”

Accessibility for all

Home schooling has demonstrated the divide in society for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. It’s estimated that between 1.14 million and 1.78 million children in the UK don’t have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet, while more than 880,000 children live in a home with only a mobile internet connection.

As a result of lockdown a number of initiatives have been set up to help ensure children’s education doesn’t suffer as a result of a lack of electronic devices or connectivity. The Department for Education is working with several UK mobile networks to get more people connected, and the Get Help with Tech scheme aims to provide free internet access to those who need it in school years 3 to 11.

Making it fun

In order for any of us to learn it must be fun – and encourage us use our imagination, and that’s the same for electronics. Instead of seeing them as cold, hard and functional, they must spark the imagination.

There are plenty of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematic) apps that help children understand these subjects – without them realising – because learning is done in a fun and interactive way, and that knowledge can then be translated into ‘real world’ scenarios.

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