Participation and the digital divide.
Jamillah Moore, states in her article. “To adequately educate our students they will need access to technology at schools and in homes” (1) (Amplifier magazine, May 16 2014). This statement reinforces that technology is now an integral part of our social and educational existence.
We have a digital expectancy which is constantly evolving and being contributed to, by
(3) Figure 4.1: J Howell p 59.
So is something so essential to our being, universally available? No, we have a digital divide. The digital divide describes the inequality of access that exists between the contributors from these varying sectors. Computerbank’s Bill Boledziuk said the people who buy their low-cost computers often can’t afford to connect them to the internet (3) (lack of affordable broadband is creating digital divide). The same article is headed “lack of affordable broadband is creating digital divide” (4) (lack of affordable broadband is creating digital divide).
So what are some of the influencing factors creating the digital divide? Family support or the lack of, One’s economic situation, Hardware availability, Teaching and education resources, Internet access and speed, Age and Physical disability are just some.
What will be the consequences of allowing a digital divide to exist? As the world economy grows and borders come down, there will be a common language used to communicate. A term has been coined, describing those who are digitally fluent as insiders, and those with limited or no digital skills as outsiders. Assuming the digital age is here to stay, we can easily see the disadvantage that is imposed on the outsiders by this divide. It is paramount that we try to ensure that all entrants are afforded the same chance to be competitive.
What can we do to close this divide? Nicholas Negroponte has been instrumental in the establishment of a not for profit organisation who’s ambitious charter is to provide 1 laptop per child in developing countries. (5) (Negroponte, N. 2007), Telecommunications companies can make funds available through subsidised Internet subscriptions. Governments are developing educational programs based on digital technologies.
- Retrieved from https://div46amplifier.com/2014/05/16/equity-technology-and-narrowing-the-digital-divide/
- Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT:Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Australia and New Zealand: Oxford University Press
- Paraphrased, Retrieved fromhttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/shelves-of-second-hand-monitors-at-the-computerbank-warehouse/5566802
- retrieved from https://theconversation.com/australias-digital-divide-is-narrowing-but-getting-deeper-55232
- Negroponte, N. (2007). One Laptop per Child, two years on [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_negroponte_on_one_laptop_per_child_two_years_