Managing Today's Digital Divide


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Presentation of my full paper from SITE 2010; Prezi version at

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Managing Today's Digital Divide

  1. 1. Navigating Today’s Digital Divide: Motivating All Learners Toward Success<br />Anastasia Trekles<br />Clinical Asst. Professor<br />Purdue University Calumet<br />Hammond, IN, USA<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  2. 2. Background<br />Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, IN – very diverse, urban population<br />Many non-traditional and first generation college students<br />Some residential but mostly commuter campus<br />Largest regional campus of Purdue University (main campus: West Lafayette, IN, Big Ten Research I school)<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  3. 3. Digital Divide Persistence<br />Policies that favor higher socioeconomic groups <br />Latest: YouTube videos for college applications<br />Physical access to broadband Internet and newest computers still most common with high SES<br />Low SES groups – youth in particular - tend to favor cell phones/smartphones for their tech needs<br />Baby boomers and mature generation still lagging in skills, opportunities, motivation to get online, although they tend to be most suited and prefer distance education<br />Females, disabled, less educated also lagging in access and motivation<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  4. 4. Today’s Climate and the Need for Technology Literacy<br />People are overburdened with information<br />Belief that tech is “reserved for the elite or the young”<br />Demand for distance learning in post-secondary increases as more people need job skills while still maintaining other responsibilities<br />An increasing number of services are being provided only or mostly through the Internet or phone (government services, customer service, etc.) as jobs and facilities are cut<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  5. 5. Trends in the Digital Divide<br />Socioeconomic exclusion through policy:<br />Media and tech literacy down – more teachers and professors believe that millennial already “know it all” before they get to class<br />Motivation lacks when there is no relevant use for a task or it does not fit into daily life; i.e., the prevalence of social media<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  6. 6. Motivating Learners<br />Digital skills improve with time and motivation<br />Physical access can be improved with assistive technology, self-tutoring resources, personal support<br />Language and literacy barrier also important to keep in mind – accessibility is more than physical access<br />Providing time and opportunity for learners to practice needed skills<br />Relate learned skills directly to lifestyle or job needs – if there is no need to learn something, chances are people won’t want to learn!<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  7. 7. Supporting Learners<br />Train users on changing the language of onscreen menus/commands<br />Use analogies for unfamiliar concepts (desktop = workbench, directories = toolbox drawers, etc)<br />Explain dangers of Internet usage thoroughly and how to avoid them (phishing, viruses, etc.)<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  8. 8. Media Literacy<br />Train learners in media literacy and critical evaluation skills as well as Internet search and usage<br />Explain the concept of hypermedia and the multidimensional nature of the Internet<br />Understanding domain names and Internet addresses (i.e, when a website change has taken place, https vs. http)<br />Help users with evaluation through checklists with useful information and criteria<br />Help users develop good search questions and to use advanced searches<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  9. 9. Bridging the Usage Gap<br />Provide ample opportunity for practice<br />Just-in-time training<br />Find, teach, and model the most efficient approach to technology tasks<br />Web 2.0 allows us to take care of many tasks in many different ways, complex or not complex - use the best tool for your audience<br />Consider ensuring that users with mobile devices can access services, coursework, etc.<br />Provide technology training in relevant, culturally sensitive contexts – do not be afraid to customize handouts, standup training, course delivery based on audience<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  10. 10. References<br />Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2006). Staying the course: Online education in the United States, 2008. Needham, Massachusetts: The Sloan Consortium. Retrieved September 9, 2009, from<br />Amiel, T. (2006). Mistaking computers for technology: Technology literacy and the digital divide. AACE Journal, 14(3). 235-256.<br />Aviram, A., & Eshet-Alkalai, Y. (2006). Toward a theory of digital literacy” Three scenarios for the next steps. European Journal of Open, Distance, and E-Learning, 2006/I. Retrieved August 23, 2007, from<br />Contreras, F. (2009, December 1). Young latinos, blacks answer call of mobile devices. National Public Radio. Retrieved December 5, 2009, from <br />Ford, F. (2010, March 9). Does latest college application trend discriminate? Higher Ed Morning. Retrieved March 10, 2010, from<br />Fox, S. (2006). Are ‘wired seniors’ sitting ducks? Retrieved September 28, 2007, from<br />Hargittai, E. (2008). The role of expertise in navigating links of influence. In J. Turow & L. Tsui (Eds.), The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age. University of Michigan: The University of Michigan Press.<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  11. 11. References<br />Hargittai, E. & Hinnant, A. (2008). Digital Inequality: Differences in Young Adults' Use of the Internet. Communication Research, 35(5):602-621.<br />Heintz, R. (2007, March). 6231 reasons to upgrade your computer skills. Retrieved September 18, 2007, from<br />Horrigan, J. (2008). Home broadband adoption 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2008, from<br />Horrigan, J. (2007a). Why it will be hard to close the broadband divide. Retrieved September 11, 2007, from<br />Horrigan, J. (2007b). A typology of information and communication technology users. Retrieved June 7, 2007, from<br />Mach, N. (2009). Gaming, learning 2.0, and the digital divide. In Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2009 (pp. 2972-2977). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  12. 12. References<br />Moltz, D. (2009, August 22). The community college enrollment boom. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved September 9, 2009, from<br />National Telecommunications and Information Administration (2004). A nation online: Entering the broadband age. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce.<br />Norris, P. (2001). Digital divide: Civic engagement, information poverty, and the Internet worldwide. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.<br />Pew Internet & American Life Project (2009, July 15). Demographics of Internet users. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved September 10, 2009, from<br />Van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2005). The deepening divide: Inequality in the information society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.<br />Wang, Y. (2007). Riding to the future – An investigation of information literacy skills of students at an urban university as applied to the web environment. International Journal on E-Learning, 6(4), 593-603.<br />Warschauer, M. (2008). Whither the digital divide? In D. L. Kleinman, K. A. Cloud-Hansen, C. Matta, and J. Handesman (Eds.) Controversies in science and technology: From climate to chromosomes. New Rochelle, NY: Liebert.<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />
  13. 13. Contact Me!<br />My website:<br />Putting People First: Human Issues in Instructional Technology (Kindle e-book):<br />My Slideshare:<br />My email:<br />3/25/10<br />Anastasia Trekles - SITE 2010<br />