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Digital Divide

Digital Divide

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Digital Divide

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  1. Digital Divide Jonathan Chen Clare Bozso Neil Abcouwer Laura Scharff Clyde Shaffer

  2. Digital divide is defined as the gap between individuals and communities that have and don’t have access to information technologies of postmodern society. 54% of the U.S. population, or 143 million people, are actively using the Internet. Gap has been expanding, due to relevant factors such as racial, ethnic, social, and economic divides. In the Information Age, lack of access to information means disconnection from the economy and the democratic debate.

  3. “In the twenty-first century, the capacity to communicate will almost certainly be a key human right. Eliminating the distinction between the information-rich and information-poor is also critical to eliminating economic and other inequalities between North and South, and to improve the life of all humanity.” -Nelson Mandela, TELECOM 95, October 3, 1995 (Wilson, 2004, 1) While digital divide refers to the difference between social classes, global digital divide refers to a geographical division in terms of technological access.

  4. Background Information • The term “digital divide” originally represented the gap in computer • ownership between different groups of people • Was being used regularly by mid-1990s • Between 1997-2005, middle- and higher-income groups • showed growing equality • Lowest income groups continue to decrease level of equality • to higher income groups

  5. Bridging the Global Digital Divide • Distribution of inexpensive computers and internet technology to developing nations • One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), 50x15 (AMD), Geekcore, Inveneo • Programs teach technology skills to underprivileged inner-city families. • Boston Digital Bridge Foundation • Mobile phones used to connect to internet • Nearly half of African-Americans and Hispanics have used mobile phones to connect to internet, compared to 28 percent of white Americans • Social networking sites encourage use among all groups. WokFi

  6. Challenges and Criticisms Obtaining resources vs. learning a skill Who will help? How can they help? Politics and cultural differences Necessary?

  7. The Global Digital Divide is a stumbling block inhibiting man’s technological progress. • The internet allows for knowledge to be shared widely. • A wide variety of talents are available for collaboration. • Internet users currently only constitute fifteen to twenty percent of the worlds population. • There is still a great deal of potential to be had by connecting the other eighty percent of the world. • Programs such as the OLPC initiative and Inveneo will help to solve this, to some degree.