Digital Divide

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Digital Divide Vs. Digital Inequality:

Beckett Haight Digital Divide Vs. Digital Inequality

What is a ‘Digital Divide’ ?:

What is a ‘Digital Divide’ ? Some segments of the world have relatively cheap and unfettered access to the internet while others do not

Picture it like Cuba……:

Picture it like Cuba……

But unfortunately Cuban people aren’t allowed to freely go to resorts, even though they are right there…..folks who don’t have access to the net are in a similar situation:

But unfortunately Cuban people aren’t allowed to freely go to resorts, even though they are right there…..folks who don ’ t have access to the net are in a similar situation

What is ‘Digital Inequality’ ?:

What is ‘Digital Inequality’ ? Digital inequality is seen as the problems that arise due to access to the net Problems arise when there are situations where ten year old kids have more access to technology on their cell phone than does an apartment filled with two families There are important questions to be looked into when this type of inequality is presnet ( Dimaggio , Hargittai , Celeste, & Shafer, 2004)

The state has $50,000 available:

The state has $50,000 available What is the most prudent way to utilize these funds in order to help remedy digital inequalities?

We have 7 options:

We have 7 options 1. Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when the computers are available. 2. Expand staffing and other resources so that public schools can be open to the public after normal school hours, on weekends, and during the summer months. 3. Provide individuals in disadvantaged communities with computers. 4. Provide high-speed Internet and mobile access for all state residents. 5. Subsidize Internet Service Providers to provide low-cost Internet to all state residents. 6. Provide information literacy courses to enhance computer skills and enable knowledgeable use of digital technologies. 7. Develop free online educational content, giving first priority to content most relevant to lower socio-economic groups before content that is relevant to the rest of the public.

Additional option:

Additional option Instead of subsidizing the Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) in order to help attain more access for state residents, there may be other perks that could be given to cable companies or whomever. They may get certain tax breaks, favorable loans or permits, etc. This could help to encourage ISP’s to help out more.

Which ones are the most beneficial?:

Which ones are the most beneficial? We have to remember that there is $50,000, no more, no less 1. Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when the computers are available . One of the problems I’ve seen with internet access for disenfranchised communities is that if people don’t have access at home, if they choose to go to a library, their access is often limited to 15 minute intervals with an abundance of homeless people waiting, and others such as themselves. With such little time, people want to check their e-mail, fill out an application, check the Facebook, and they may also have to do research for a class. All that stuff in fifteen minutes is difficult, which can lead to the that problems seen with digital inequality as early as 1995 ( Dimaggio , et. al, 2004) Thus, more access time is an imperative in order to help digital disparity

Good choices continued:

Good choices continued 2. Expand staffing and other resources so that public schools can be open to the public after normal school hours, on weekends, and during the summer months . Keep libraries and computer labs open to, at the minimum, students and their family members after school. Parents are sometimes allowed to use computers in parent centers throughout the day, but many work during school hours and cannot utilize that opportunity. This would also give many disadvantaged students the ability to complete projects and do other stuff that they are not allowed to do due to limited or no access to the net

Which ones are the most beneficial?:

Which ones are the most beneficial? 4 . Provide high-speed Internet and mobile access for all state residents . - If we were able to provide internet access to all residents that would be fantastic. The lack of internet access for many is a travesty given how entrenched it has become in our lives.

Why are some not as prudent?:

Why are some not as prudent? 3. Provide individuals in disadvantaged communities with computers . - There are so many possible negative situations that could transpire from this that it does not seem like a good idea. In addition, $50, 000 dollars would not be able to cover even the initial cost of set up for many states 6. Provide information literacy courses to enhance computer skills and enable knowledgeable use of digital technologies. Providing courses doesn’t seem like it would touch too many people, especially in the ways that would be most beneficial

Why are some not as prudent?:

Why are some not as prudent? 7 . Develop free online educational content, giving first priority to content most relevant to lower socio-economic groups before content that is relevant to the rest of the public. If people don’t have access to the net, or have limited access, this won’t benefit them too much 5. Subsidize Internet Service Providers to provide low-cost Internet to all state residents . - I like this idea, but for $50,000 dollars, this does not seem like a long-term and/or statewide endeavor

References:

References DiMaggio, P., Hargittai , E., Celeste, C., & Shafer, S. (2004). From unequal access to differentiated use: A literature review and agenda for research on digital inequality. Social Inequality , 355-400. Retrieved from http://www.eszter.com/research... uality.pdf

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