Closing the Digital Divide: How Headsets Aid in Digital Equity

While the concept of digital equity is still being defined, it generally refers to the idea that everyone should have equal access to digital tools and their benefits. This applies both to people who are underserved by current public systems and those who are at a disadvantage because of their location or socioeconomic status. Digital inclusion is another way of framing this issue- making sure that people have the capability to use the internet to do things that benefit them day-to-day.

With respect to this, the use of headsets in the workforce and education system could potentially transform digital equity, and in turn, inclusion. Headsets are not only an affordable addition to other digital devices but listening and communication devices are becoming a key component in enhancing the digital experience.

Accessibility and digital proficiency

There are millions of people in this country who do not have access to a computer, internet or digital device. They might be online but only using an old cell phone with limited data usage and no apps, or they may have a laptop but no idea how to use it, even more, they could be relying on libraries for their internet needs because their community lacks any other options.

Digital equity isn’t just an issue of access; it’s also one of inclusion meaning people also need the skills to be able to utilize these tools to their full effect. Digital skills are important for many jobs, education, health, entertainment, as well as communication. They are also important for civic engagement. For example, if you want to apply for a job online or if you want to participate in democracy by voting online or contacting your elected official digitally then you will need digital skills.

Headsets lend a great deal to these digital experiences and are a great way to bridge gaps in learning and access. Headset solutions may be used in a variety of ways- in schools, libraries and other community spaces to promote learning, engagement and focus. On top of this, headsets are easy to use making them accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

Adding value to communities

Headset solutions could lead to improved digital development among underserved communities by providing a way to use digital tools to their fullest capabilities. This may improve access and engagement with education and employment opportunities by providing a reliable way to focus, communicate and listen.

As the Learning Counsel explored in a recent paper, headsets are essential in promoting increased focus and enhancing hybrid education models. With headsets, there is no need to worry about where you are sitting in class because you are listening through the same device as everyone else. Additionally, headsets allow students to connect with their peers via voice chat so that they may collaborate together during group projects.

When applying headset solutions to the workforce, a benefit is that they may be used as initial devices when people begin training for a new job or are seeking educational opportunities to be able to be qualified for a higher-earning position. Being able to listen clearly allows for an easier time when learning basic skills or participating in online training modules.

Closing the digital divide

The digital divide is a problem that technology companies have been trying to solve for years. The simple fact is, technology may only help so much if the people around us don’t have access to it. With this in mind, we must start taking steps toward making sure that everyone has equal access. Headphones, headsets and other audio devices are just one of many solutions being used today as a way of helping close this gap.

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Elizabeth Woodard

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