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EIT Associate Professor explores path to digital inclusion at public lecture

May 15, 2024

EIT Professor Emre Erturk presented a public lecture at MTG Hawke’s Bay earlier this month, the second in a series by EIT’s Research and Innovation Centre (RIC).

EIT Professor Emre Erturk unravelled the intricate layers of digital inclusion and confronted the persistent challenge of the digital divide in a public lecture.

The public lecture, held at MTG Hawke’s Bay, earlier this month, was the second in a series: ‘Reconnecting Through Research’, organised by EIT’s Research and Innovation Centre (RIC).

Emre’s lecture, titled “Understanding the Digital Divide in Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand: How do we move towards a more digitally inclusive society?” probed various segments of society potentially affected by the digital divide, such as local businesses, the elderly, and young students.

He also underscored the significant role of digital inclusion in preserving Mātauranga Māori.

Emre recently led a research project on this topic funded by Internet NZ and has presented on the digital divide and digital inclusion at major conferences in the UK.

An underlying theme of Emre’s discourse was the evolving relationship between digital literacy and cyber-security awareness. He stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach that not only addresses gaps in digital skills but also cultivates a deeper understanding of cybersecurity among users.

Reflecting on his research, Emre underscored the vital role of education in fostering digital inclusion.

“The key to overcoming that fear is probably more practice,” he noted, highlighting the importance of hands-on learning experiences to build confidence, especially among older individuals.

He emphasised the need for concerted efforts to address disparities in digital access, noting that “We need to bridge the digital divide and ensure that no one is left behind in this rapidly advancing digital era.”

Associate Professor Anita Jagroop-Dearing (School of Health and Sport Science) will present next followed by Professor Annemarie Gillies (Te Kura i Awarua Rangahau Māori Centre), Associate Professor Emily Nelson (Education and Social Science), and Associate Professor Pii-Tuulia Nikula (School of Business).