Digital inequality in the state of idaho

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Digital inequality in the state of idaho

  1. 1. Solutions to Digital Inequality in the State of Idaho Lynette McDougal Chief Technology Advisor to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  2. 2. Digital Divide versus Digital Inequality  Digital Divide ◦ the gap between those with and without regular, effective access to digital technologies and those who do not1  Digital Inequality ◦ the differences in formal access to the Internet amongst a population2
  3. 3. Five Dimensions of Digital Inequality 1. Equipment 2. Autonomy of use 3. Skill 4. Social support 5. Type of Internet useage
  4. 4. Internet Access in Idaho • In 2000, 42.3% of households in Idaho had Internet access3 • In 2006, 66.7% of households in Idaho had Internet access4 0.0% 25.0% 50.0% 75.0% 100.0% 42.3% 66.7% percentage Year Percentage of Families with Internet Access in Idaho 2000 2006
  5. 5. Which Groups Tend to Lack Internet Access in Idaho • Families with an annual income of less than $15,000 • Single parent income families • Education level of head of household is a high school diploma or lower • Individuals over the age of 50 years old • Individuals with disabilities 3All data on this page was obtained from Falling through the Net: Toward digital inclusion. (2000
  6. 6. Primary Uses of Internet •Send and receive E-mail •Online shopping and bill paying •Job seeking •Information gathering •Online education
  7. 7. Proposals submitted by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction 1. Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when computers are available. 2. Expand staffing and other resources so that public schools can be open to the public after normal school hours, on weekends, and during the summer months. 3. Provide individuals in disadvantaged communities with computers. 4. Provide high-speed Internet and mobile access for all state residents. 5. Subsidize Internet Service Providers to provide low-cost Internet to all state residents. 6. Provide information literacy courses to enhance computer skills and enable knowledgeable use of digital technologies. 7. Develop free online educational content, giving first priority to content most relevant to lower socio-economic groups before content that is relevant to the rest of the public.
  8. 8. Additional Proposals Worth Thinking About i. Allow middle and high school students to lease computers. ii. Expand WiFi access in public areas.
  9. 9. 1. Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when computers are available. Advantages Disadvantages Accessible to all citizens No autonomy of use Internet access already established Internet censorship Personal security risk
  10. 10. 2. Expand staffing and other resources so that public schools can be open to the public after normal school hours, on weekends, and during the summer months. Advantages Disadvantages Accessible to all citizens No autonomy of use Internet access already established Internet censorship Personal security risk Additional costs associated with additional building usage, extended staffing and security
  11. 11. 3. Provide individuals in disadvantaged communities with computers. Advantages Disadvantages Provides equipment to underserved groups Costly to maintain Autonomy of use Usage is not guaranteed Does not provide Internet access 4. Provide high-speed Internet and mobile access for all state residents. Advantages Disadvantages Provides Internet access to underserved groups Internet usage is not guaranteed Autonomy of use Does not provide equipment
  12. 12. 5. Subsidize Internet Service Providers to provide low-cost Internet to all state residents. Advantages Disadvantages Provides Internet access at a more affordable rate Infrastructure costs to expand to Internet access to rural areas Autonomy of use 6. Provide information literacy courses to enhance computer skills and enable knowledgeable use of digital technologies.Advantages Disadvantages Gives users the skills necessary to use the Internet Does not provide Internet access
  13. 13. 7. Develop free online educational content, giving first priority to content most relevant to lower socio-economic groups before content that is relevant to the rest of the public. Advantages Disadvantages Provide users the experience and skills necessary to use the Internet Does not provide equipment or Internet access
  14. 14. i. Allow middle and high school students to lease computers. Advantages Disadvantages Provides users with equipment Does not provide Internet access ii. Expand WiFi access in public areas. Advantages Disadvantages Accessible to all citizens Does not provide equipment
  15. 15. Most Favorable Proposals • Subsidize Internet Service Providers to provide low-cost Internet to all state residents. • Expand WiFi access in public areas. • Allow middle and high school students to lease computers. • Provide information literacy courses to enhance computer skills and enable knowledgeable use of digital technologies. • Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when the computers are available.
  16. 16. Least Favorable Proposals • Provide individuals in disadvantaged communities with computers. • Provide high-speed Internet and mobile access for all state residents. • Develop free online educational content, giving first priority to content most relevant to lower socio-economic groups before content that is relevant to the rest of the public. • Expand staffing and other resources so that public schools can be open to the public after normal school hours, on weekends, and during the summer months.
  17. 17. References Hargittai, E. (2003). The digital divide and what to do about it. New Economy Handbook, 821-839. Retrieved from http://www.eszter.com/research/pubs/hargittai-digitaldivide.pdf DiMaggio, P., Hargittai, E., Celeste, C., & Shafer, S. (2004). From unequal access to differentiated use: A literature review and agenda for research on digital inequality.Social Inequality, 355-400. Retrieved from http://www.eszter.com/research/pubs/dimaggio- etal-digitalinequality.pdf U.S. Dept of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) (2000). Falling through the Net: Toward digital inclusion. Retrieved from http://search.ntia.doc.gov/pdf/fttn00.pdf Senate Declares June Internet Safety Month. (2006). Retrieved from http://crapo.senate.gov/media/newsreleases/release_full.cfm?id=2 55971 1 2 3 4

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