This post is a short description of the Digital Skills Observatory, the research project I am leading at Mozilla Foundation in partnership with Gates Foundation and Digital Divide Data. Learn more at mzl.la/dso.
All around the world, in Chicago or Nairobi, digital natives are discovering the web for the first time from a smartphone. In Kenya, for a low income population, it is likely to be a second or third hand smartphone, broken and slow, that is worth less than 100 USD. Definitely not your iPhone. … Digital Skills Observatory
Since 2012, pioneering educators and web activists have been reflecting and developing answers to the question, “What is web literacy?” These conversations have shaped our Web Literacy Map, a guiding document that outlines the skills and competencies that are essential to reading, writing, and participating on the Web.
When we research and we are on a field trip, our mission is to learn as much as possible about the country, its culture and its people. We have to develop our sense of empathy, to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of the people we meet and understand the different constraints, emotions, motivators which draw their lives.
So we take photographs. A lot of photographs. They are here to tell a story and to allow our readers (designers, engineers, educators…) to dive into this world, so radically different.
But we cannot reasonably pretend that all the pictures we take are as true and transparent as we wish them to be. There is always this barrier, this distance that the subject put between us. Sometimes, with the right dose of efforts and luck, we succeed in reducing the barrier, and the camera disappears. But these moments are rare and we don’t always have the occasion to dive into people’s lives as much as we would want to.
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” Robert Capa