Technology and the Internet are part of everyday life. Way we view movies, way we interact with our friends, way we communicate at work. Google? Maps? GPS? This is the norm. Companies, organizations that aren’t online are viewed as out of step with modern society. The world has moved online.
Term introduced in the ‘90s to refer to the gap between those who had access to computers and those who did not. In 2000, 62% of people used a computer, 46% were online. Socioeconomic lines. . Minorities, those without college degrees, the elderly, and the poor were more likely not to have a computer in their home, and, therefore, more likely to be left out of the Information age.
Falling cost of technology. How much was a computer in 2000? Prices have fallen by 10% over the last 3 years. Computer ownership has increased. 80% - computer, 58% - smartphone, 42% - tablet. Libraries, schools, colleges installed computers. Over 95% of libraries have public access computers. A quarter of the population accesses the Internet from a library. Mostly minorities. 77% consider this service very important. Wi-Fi –important. 54% who use Wi-Fi access it from places other than home and work. Wi-Fi in public libraries, downtown Lexington. Coffeeshops, restaurants, other businesses. Requires device. Access divide between the different socioeconomic groups is slowly faiding.
85% use the Internet. No significant difference between races and between rural and urban. Those with at least some college experience are slightly more likely to use the Internet. Those who are under 65 are slightly more likely to use the Internet. The likelihood of using the Internet increases with a person’s income, but not substantially. The average person has at least some computer experience. The divide today isn’t as extreme as these people.
Not a gap between those who have and those who do not. Desipite obstacles, people are finding their way online. What the digital divide has evolved into is a divide of the quality and the quantity of the access.
Computer ownership, though increasing, still divided along socioeconomic lines. 87% of Asians and Whites own a computer, 68% of Blacks and Hispanics. Number of H.S. grads doubled over the past decade, but still 71% as opposed to 93% for Coll. Grads. Public computers – relies on transportation and related costs. Can be outdate, unreliable, and slow.
Societies in which broadband Internet is ubiquitous will adapt to its uses much more quickly, therefore using it with greater skill and efficiency, than those where access is available only to a few. Many standard Internet technologies are unusable on lower speeds. Ebooks, interactive classroom shell. 2012, Kentucky ranked 45th out of all 50 states in TechNet’s State Broadband Index which measures broadband adoption and network quality. 58% - Kentuckians. 70% - National average.
Rural communities lack the necessary infrastructure for high-speed Internet. 70% - urban, 62% - rural.
Traditional socioeconomic groups. 74% of Whites, 62% of Blacks, and 53% of Hispanics. However, one study found that younger, college-educated, and higher-income African-Americans were just as likely to have broadband as their white peers. Broadband adoption increases for those under the age of 50, and increase significantly with education and income.
Then again, computer ownership and Internet subscriptions might not be a big deal in an era where smartphones and other mobile devices are becoming more inexpensive to own and pay for monthly service fees. By 2015, more internet users will access the Internet through mobile devices than PCs or other wired devices. The smartphone will end the Digital Divide. 58% own smartphone. Problems -
Wireless carriers tend to roll out faster networks mostly around major metropolitan areas, concentrating on coverage in areas where they can serve the most people or make the most money. This means that communities and neighborhoods that are less densely populated, less wealthy or more remote tend to be the last to benefit from wireless network improvements. 64% - urban, 43% - rural While smartphones are becoming more prominent, cost is still an issue. For many people with uncertain income, a large cell phone bill represents a huge financial risk. Too expensive tied for #1 reason.
Percentages of smartphone owners increase for those with higher incomes, at least some college experience, under the age of 55. Racially diverse, slightly more minorities own smartphones than whites.
Owners who use the smartphone as their primary means of accessing the Internet: minorities, less than a college degree, under 30.
38% of all smartphone owners use it as their primary Internet device. Accessing the Internet from a smartphone is very different than accessing it from a desktop or laptop. Smartphone access is good for entertainment, social networking, and current awareness, but terrible for many forms of research and civic engagement. They do not allow the user to create and manage digital content at the same level as a traditional PC. Also, many websites don’t have mobile versions or use code that does not function properly on a smartphone. The socioeconomic groups that have traditionally been the most affected by the digital divide are now able to access the internet, but are viewing a different type of internet than the rest of us.
Cloud computing is the term given to the practice of storing personally owned data on Internet servers instead of on a local device. Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon Instant Video. 69% of online Americans use cloud, 40% or less use it to its true potential.
Future. Assumes ubiquitous Internet access. Presumption that the future is already here. “The Internet is like electricity. Everyone has it.” problem arises when users are required to store data in the cloud instead of locally. There is a difference between being able to access and save information online and being required to do so. Advantages – low cost computing, offers access to data from multiple devices. Digital divide is first a technological issue, putting the right equipment in the hands of the marginalized. However, as Ali Modarres said, “It is not clear whether the problem of the digital divide disappears if access to…smart phones and… computing is increased.”
Flies in the face of the notion that if people have access to the Internet then the problem will take care of itself. The question really is: Does greater access equal improved critical engagement? To use the Internet in meaningful ways, users must develop sufficient digital skills. A mastery of Internet use is regarded as important determinant of the quality of life. Digital skills are the set of skills that users need to operate computers and their networks, to search and select information, and the ability to use them for the fulfillment of one’s goals. If the Internet is used as a toy rather than a tool, it may not enhance the user’s life. Skills lead to more meaningful usage. Denmark survey, digital skills are a result of Internet usage. More time online, greater digital skills. Inverse not true. Digital divide is still defined by traditional socioeconomic groups. The marginalized, though they may be able to access a computer, do not have the same means of access or the same user experience as their wealthy, educated, non-minority peers. They are limited by their data plans, by the service hours of the computer lab, by their geographic location. Computer classes trainging necessary and effective, but studies show not as effective as immersion. As mass-media is disseminated with a social system, people with higher socioeconomic status tend to acquire this information at a faster rate than people with lower socioeconomic status. As a result, the gap in knowledge between these segments tends to increase. Predictions that widespread access would reduce inequality have been refuted by findings that increasing internet penetration will exacerbate rather than reduce inequalities. What content to use and how to utilize the power of the Internet are more important questions.
http://projectinfolit.org/index.php/about May be a bit of a discrepancy since this study appears to focus on traditional students. Long-term study, in the process of focusing on how students use information in their jobs.
First part of the study that I want to focus on:
Information from the study. This appears to be more focused on millenials and traditional students. Emphasis on reforming information literacy components: is this true?
This is all good news! Library databases are seen as credible and preferred in many instances.
However, students use our facilities and do not ask us for assistance. Why?
Information used to be fairly finite to include just stacks in the library, but now, the internet has provided us with infinite possibilities. It’s limitless. We have worked really hard to make our libraries work as-place, is that coming back against us? How can we get involved with these students and guide their information needs?
By maintaining our position as tech leaders, we allow ourselves to be consultants. By getting that initial consultation, we can broaden our services to provide information services and become useful to our patrons.
Accessibility is the biggest part of becoming relevant. Being open, kind, and informative increases the number of students who come to consult with you, and word of mouth spreads! Good customer service goes a long way, and so does bad customer service!
This may be a bit of a pipe dream, but I would love for librarians to be involved in early CIT courses to discuss digital literacy components. Currently, KCTCS has a digital literacy component, but the courses required for this often focus on Microsoft Office. Having librarians involved so early would start fostering digital literacy skills and improve critical thinking.
Not everyone is a millenial, and not everyone has basic computer skills, so we need to be there to teach workshops for these individuals so they are prepared to complete college coursework.
This is the second part of the information I gleaned from PIL, which discusses how students use information.
Being trapped in this world of constant information, students use the same tried and true methods for accessing information. They begin to navigate in smaller circles.
Unsurprisingly, these are the methods they use to access information online.
This is the percentage rate for preference of which items they refer to most.
Studnets do not know the difference between a search engine, a database, or a website. They know that they can put information in a field and get information back. The kind of information really doesn’t matter to them.
Informal library instruction can be as simple as actively walking around and asking, “Hey, can I show you something to make your life easier?” This also leads to better buy-in from students once they see that you have valuable and potentially time-saving information to share.
Students think that all information is equal and all retrieval methods are equal. Google gives them an output. They need to learn to differentiate between different kinds of information and how to use those. For example, “usable” vs. “citable.” They also aren’t going to give up on Google, so we need to teach them better search strategy to get the resources they need.
This may also be a pipe dream, but if you have the ability to create a friendly user interface or user experience, that’s an immediate way to increase student use and buy-in. You should be better than Google. Now that’s a tall order, but if it can be done, you’ll make finding library information at the forefront of the student research experience.
The smartphone-generation slideshare
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