Exploring Minnesota’s Digital Divide

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Presentation given by Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt (Minnesota Literacy Council) to AmeriCorps VISTA members 01/04/2013

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  • Convenience, empowerment, entertainment…
  • Opportunity, hassle, inconvenience, high status/success, danger, frustration, one more example of your marginalization
  • No Access: Individuals who have no access to the Internet at home, work, school, a library, etc.Obstacles to Effective Use: Most Minnesotans (91%) have some access to the Internet (mainly at home, work, or a library). However, they may encounter significant obstacles to using their Internet connection to fully participate in the activities that matter to them. They may have a slow connection, old computers, or spotty cell phone connectivity; websites may be blocked (e.g. at work or school); time limits may be imposed; hours may be limited; they may be barred from using the Internet for personal reasons at work, or there may be little or no technical assistance available should something go wrong.Literacy Limits: Other Minnesotans have full, unrestricted Internet access but lack the Digital Literacy skills to use it effectively. Their use of the Internet may be “shallow” – mainly email and search. They may fail to take full advantage of opportunities for online learning, social networking, creative expression, citizenship, entrepreneurship, etc. As parents, they may feel underprepared to guide their children’s use of Internet technologies.Peak Access: Many Minnesotans have full, unrestricted Internet access and the skills and knowledge to use it effectively. Their use of the Internet is rich and meaningful, contributing to their personal and professional lives. Making this level of access available to all Minnesotans is the goal.
  • No Access: Individuals who have no access to the Internet at home, work, school, a library, etc.Obstacles to Effective Use: Most Minnesotans (91%) have some access to the Internet (mainly at home, work, or a library). However, they may encounter significant obstacles to using their Internet connection to fully participate in the activities that matter to them. They may have a slow connection, old computers, or spotty cell phone connectivity; websites may be blocked (e.g. at work or school); time limits may be imposed; hours may be limited; they may be barred from using the Internet for personal reasons at work, or there may be little or no technical assistance available should something go wrong.Literacy Limits: Other Minnesotans have full, unrestricted Internet access but lack the Digital Literacy skills to use it effectively. Their use of the Internet may be “shallow” – mainly email and search. They may fail to take full advantage of opportunities for online learning, social networking, creative expression, citizenship, entrepreneurship, etc. As parents, they may feel underprepared to guide their children’s use of Internet technologies.Peak Access: Many Minnesotans have full, unrestricted Internet access and the skills and knowledge to use it effectively. Their use of the Internet is rich and meaningful, contributing to their personal and professional lives. Making this level of access available to all Minnesotans is the goal.
  • No Access: Individuals who have no access to the Internet at home, work, school, a library, etc.Obstacles to Effective Use: Most Minnesotans (91%) have some access to the Internet (mainly at home, work, or a library). However, they may encounter significant obstacles to using their Internet connection to fully participate in the activities that matter to them. They may have a slow connection, old computers, or spotty cell phone connectivity; websites may be blocked (e.g. at work or school); time limits may be imposed; hours may be limited; they may be barred from using the Internet for personal reasons at work, or there may be little or no technical assistance available should something go wrong.Literacy Limits: Other Minnesotans have full, unrestricted Internet access but lack the Digital Literacy skills to use it effectively. Their use of the Internet may be “shallow” – mainly email and search. They may fail to take full advantage of opportunities for online learning, social networking, creative expression, citizenship, entrepreneurship, etc. As parents, they may feel underprepared to guide their children’s use of Internet technologies.Peak Access: Many Minnesotans have full, unrestricted Internet access and the skills and knowledge to use it effectively. Their use of the Internet is rich and meaningful, contributing to their personal and professional lives. Making this level of access available to all Minnesotans is the goal.
  • No Access: Individuals who have no access to the Internet at home, work, school, a library, etc.Obstacles to Effective Use: Most Minnesotans (91%) have some access to the Internet (mainly at home, work, or a library). However, they may encounter significant obstacles to using their Internet connection to fully participate in the activities that matter to them. They may have a slow connection, old computers, or spotty cell phone connectivity; websites may be blocked (e.g. at work or school); time limits may be imposed; hours may be limited; they may be barred from using the Internet for personal reasons at work, or there may be little or no technical assistance available should something go wrong.Literacy Limits: Other Minnesotans have full, unrestricted Internet access but lack the Digital Literacy skills to use it effectively. Their use of the Internet may be “shallow” – mainly email and search. They may fail to take full advantage of opportunities for online learning, social networking, creative expression, citizenship, entrepreneurship, etc. As parents, they may feel underprepared to guide their children’s use of Internet technologies.Peak Access: Many Minnesotans have full, unrestricted Internet access and the skills and knowledge to use it effectively. Their use of the Internet is rich and meaningful, contributing to their personal and professional lives. Making this level of access available to all Minnesotans is the goal.
  • Exploring Minnesota’s Digital Divide

    1. 1. EXPLORING MINNESOTA’SDIGITAL DIVIDE
    2. 2. BEFORE WE BEGIN:WHERE ARE WE COMING FROM? What does Technology represent to you?
    3. 3. CONSIDERING OTHER PERSPECTIVES Ifyou are a 45-year old Mexican immigrant mother of two high school students, who does not own (and has never owned) a computer, what might Technology represent to you?
    4. 4. CONSTRUCTING UNDERSTANDING Answer the questions with what you know currently. Leave space to revise or add to your answers at the end of the afternoon.
    5. 5. IN THE 90S AND EARLY 2000S: “Digital Divide” described a clear division between those who had access to the Internet and those who did not. Haves Have Nots
    6. 6. TODAY IT’S MESSIER. Sorta Haves Haves Have Nots
    7. 7. LAYERS OF INTERNET EQUALITY Peak access Literacy Limits Obstacles to Effective Use No Access
    8. 8. OBSTACLES TO EFFECTIVE USEMost Minnesotans (91%) have someaccess to the Internet (mainly at home,work, or a library). However, they mayencounter significant obstacles to usingtheir Internet connection to fully participatein the activities that matter to them. Theymay have a slow connection, oldcomputers, or spotty cell phoneconnectivity; websites may be blocked (e.g.at work or school); time limits may beimposed; hours may be limited; they maybe barred from using the Internet forpersonal reasons at work, or there may belittle or no technical assistance availableshould something go wrong.
    9. 9. DIGITAL LITERACY LIMITSOther Minnesotans have full, unrestrictedInternet access but lack the Digital Literacyskills to use it effectively. Their use of theInternet may be “shallow” – mainly emailand search. They may fail to take fulladvantage of opportunities for onlinelearning, social networking, creativeexpression, citizenship, entrepreneurship,etc. As parents, they may feelunderprepared to guide their children’s useof Internet technologies. Children may usethe Internet solely for entertainment,neglecting the educational opportunities itcould afford them.
    10. 10. PEAK ACCESSMany Minnesotans have full, unrestrictedInternet access and the skills andknowledge to use it effectively. Their useof the Internet is rich and meaningful,contributing to their personal andprofessional lives. Making this level ofaccess available to all Minnesotans is thegoal.
    11. 11. INTERNET ACCESS (ANYWHERE)2010 Data*: 91% of Minnesotans access the Technology Assessment 2010 Source: Connect Minnesota Residential Internet BUT: Only 61% of Minnesotans earning less than $15,000 a year and 73% of Minnesotans earning $15,000 to $25,000 a year access the Internet
    12. 12. EXPLORING THE DATA Beyond low-income: Who are the “haves” and “have nots” in Minnesota today? www.connectmn.org/survey- results/residential
    13. 13. MOST LIKELY TO BE AMONG THE“HAVE NOTS” Seniors Non-native speakers of English Differences Report Source: Pew Internet 2012 Digital Rural residents Adults with less than a high school education Low-income adults Adults with disabilities
    14. 14. Sources: Pew Internet 2012 Digital Differences Report; Connect Minnesota 2010 Residential Technology AssessmentWHY NOT SUBSCRIBE TO BROADBAND  Lack of (perceived) relevance Nationwide: Minnesota:INTERNET?  Cost
    15. 15. THE RISE OF MOBILE Youth of all groups, plus many minority groups historically impacted by the Differences Report Source: Pew Internet 2012 Digital Digital Divide are adopting mobile Internet at a rapid pace:  Low-income adults  African Americans  Hispanic Americans
    16. 16. THE RISE OF MOBILE Nationwide, 31% of cell Internet users say they mostly go online with their Differences Report Source: Pew Internet 2012 Digital phone About one third of these adults have no other Internet access
    17. 17. IS YOUR CONTENT MOBILE-FRIENDLY? "Ifyour organization’s information is not available on a small screen, it’s not available at all to people who rely on their mobile phones for access. That’s likely to be young people, people with lower household incomes, and recent immigrants."  Susannah Fox, The Power of Mobile, 2010
    18. 18. MOBILE IS CLOSING THE DIVIDE, BUT Mobile isn’t a full replacement for computer Internet access. Try doing this on your phone:  Job or college application  FAFSA application  Online courses
    19. 19. MOBILE FOR OUTREACH & EDUCATION Example: www.text4baby.org Sends free health-related text messages to expecting mothers and mothers of new babies. Demonstrated changes in behavior such as fewer missed doctor appointments or immunizations and better communication with doctors.
    20. 20. MOBILE HAS HUGE POTENTIAL:TABLE BRAINSTORM What could you do with text messaging in your program?
    21. 21. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SCHOOLS INADDRESSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE?Secretary of Education Arne Duncan onthe “Opportunity Gap”http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/learning/schools/the-new-digital-divide.html
    22. 22. ACCESS BUT WITH OBSTACLES:TYPICAL FOR SCHOOLSArizona State University ProfessorJames Paul Gee on the obstaclesto digital inclusion in schools:http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/learning/literacy/moby-what-1.html?play
    23. 23. THINK – PAIR – SHARE To what extent are Minneapolis Public Schools the “places of opportunity” that Secretary Duncan describes? What obstacles or barriers to digital inclusion or digital literacy instruction do you see in your setting or confronting your clients? What steps can we take to address the fear problem that Professor Gee talks about?
    24. 24. THE WIDENING USAGE GAP Broadband users do more:  An average of 7 activities/day vs. 3 for Mobile" 2010 Source: Susannah Fox, "The Power of dial-up users Mobile users do more:  Mobile Internet users are more likely to create & share content
    25. 25. USAGE GAP = SKILLS GAP Those who do more become more technologically proficient, improving their skills more rapidly Those with no access or limited access fall farther behind
    26. 26. EDUCATION IS KEY Increasing access is crucial but not sufficient to close the Digital Divide. Digital literacy instruction for both children and parents is necessary to close the knowledge & skills gap.
    27. 27. WHERE CAN ADULTS GET TRAINING? Federal BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunities) Grants are creating online and F2F programming throughout MN. http://mnliteracy.org/services/learner-web “Every Community Online” free online training: http://www.connectmn.org/every- community-online Call, Text or Search the Adult Literacy Hotline to find classes: http://mnliteracy.org/hotline
    28. 28. COMPUTERS & CONNECTIONS FORLOW-INCOME FAMILIES Comcast Internet Essentials: www.internetessentials.com Century Link Internet Basics: www.centurylink.com/home/internetbasics PCs for People www.pcsforpeople.com Free Geek freegeektwincities.org
    29. 29. REFERENCES ConnectMN.org Edutopia.org http://www.edutopia.org/digital-divide-technology-access- inclusion http://www.edutopia.org/blog/bridging-the-new-digital- divide-lori-day PBS.org – “Digital_Nation” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/ PewInternet.org http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2010/September/The- Power-of-Mobile.aspx http://pewinternet.org/Topics/Demographics/Digital- Divide.aspx

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