The Digital Divide What is it? 3 StagesDimensions Where do we go from here? Where do we go from here?
What is the Digital Divide?The digital divide is an inequality or gap betweengroups, broadly construed, in terms of access to, use of,or knowledge of information and communicationtechnologies (ICT).
Dimensions of the Divide• Service Availability- The service made available through the use of ICTs should be freely available to all who might wish to make use of them• Awareness- Everyone is aware of how they might be able to use ICTs for their own benefit• Opportunity to learn and use new media- Everyone has the opportunity to attain computer literacy.• Mastery of technologies- Everyone understands which tools are best suited for which tasks.• Experience- Everyone is able to accumulate sufficient experience with the use of ICTs to enable them to fully exploit their potential.
Dimensions Continued• Skills- Everyone has the right skills for performing ICT related tasks.• Support- Everyone has access to appropriate assistance when they need it to help them make good use of ICTs.• Attitudes (motivation)- Everyone is encouraged to participate in the sharing of benefits available from equal access to ICTs.• Content- Sufficient content is available to enable everyone to gain benefits from ICTs.• Cultural- The other dimensions are adapted as required to the cultures of all potential users.• Disability- The other dimensions are adapted as required so that disability is not a barrier to equal enjoyment of the benefits of ICTs.
Dimensions Continued• Linguistic- The other dimensions are adapted as required so that language is not a barrier to equal enjoyment of the benefits of ICTs.• Gender- The other dimensions are adapted as required so that gender is not a barrier to equal enjoyment of the benefits of ICTs.• Empowerment of civil society- Structural, political, and governance factors do not impede equal enjoyment of the benefits of ICTs.
Usability Divide: EmpowermentEconomic Divide: Divide: Far worse than the economic divide is the fact that technology ParticipationIn its simplest remains so complicated that inequality exists.form, the digital many people can’t even use adivide is computer. In social networksmanifested in the and communityfact that some Almost 40% of the population systems 90% of users don’tpeople can’t afford has lower literacy skills. contribute, 9%to buy a computer. contribute Lower literacy is the Web’s sporadically, and a biggest accessibility problem. tiny minority of 1% accounts for most contributions.
How to Level the Digital Playing Field• To reduce the impact of the digital divide there are several things to implement. • Have computer and Internet access: People need affordable and reliable computers and broadband Internet access • Be digitally literate: people need to understand digital technologies and how to use them effectively to achieve their educational, economic, civic, and social goals. • Embrace digital society: People must see value to adopt a digital lifestyle. The City is stronger, the more its residents take advantage of computing and the vast sea of knowledge the Internet offers.
• Teacher Training- There needs to be a comprehensive, organizational attempt at training teachers in order to successfully use technology to improve student learning.• Maintenance and Technology Support- Schools and districts that have successfully integrated technology into their teaching and learning processes must hire trained staff to maintain their computers to allow teachers to focus on how computers can be used in teaching and learning, enhancing the existing curriculum, and preparing students for success in the digital age.• Curricular Integration- Helping teachers move beyond seeing the Internet as a research library towards its dynamic and integrative aspects is critically important.
Works Cited• Looker, D. & Thiessen, V. (2003, June). The digital divide in Canadian schools: Factors affecting student access to and use of information technology. Statistics Canada. 81-597-XIE. Retrieved October 1, 2012 from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-597-x/81-597-x2003001-eng.pdf• Dickard, Norris; Schneider, Dianna. "The Digital Divide: Where We Are." Edutopia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. <http://www.edutopia.org/digital-divide-where-we- are-today>.• Bernard, Sara. "Crossing the Digital Divide: Bridges and Barriers to Digital Inclusion." Edutopia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. <http://www.edutopia.org/digital-divide-technology-access-inclusion>.• Bolt, David. "Digital Divide: Next Steps for Schools." Edutopia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. <http://www.edutopia.org/digital-divide-next-steps>.• Roger Harris (2002): ICT for Poverty Alleviation Framework