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laura laham grace thornton jason chen mike ornstein n.
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Digital Divide

Digital Divide

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Digital Divide

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  1. Laura Laham Grace Thornton Jason Chen Mike Ornstein Digital Divide

  2. Introduction • Digital divide: the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. • Includes the imbalances in physical access to technology as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen. • In other words, it is the unequal access by some members of society to information and communication technology, and the unequal acquisition of related skills.

  3. Introduction (cont.) • The term is closely related to the knowledge divide as the lack of technology causes lack of useful information and knowledge. • Division based on • gender • income • race groups • locations • Global digital divide: differences in technology access between countries or the whole world.

  4. General Information • Canada: • 73% of Canadians aged 16 and older went online at least once in the prior year • Up compared to 68% in 2005. • Rural vs. Urban: • 65% in rural areas regularly access the internet. • 76% in urban areas. • 91% of people making more than $91,000/year regularly used the Internet, • 47% of people making less than $24,000. • This gap has shrunk slightly since 2005.[27] • China: • Internet population increased by 20% from 2005 to 2006 • 19% of Chinese people have access to the Internet • Digital divide is growing due to factors such as insufficient infrastructure and high online charges

  5. General Information (cont.) • Europe: • Found to be primarily a matter of age and education. • Young or educated use the internet more than old or uneducated. • Digital divide is also higher in rural areas • The presence of children in a household increases the chance of having a computer or Internet access • Small businesses are catching up with larger enterprises when it comes to Internet access. • United States: • 55% of adult Americans have broadband Internet connections at home • “Up from 47% who had high-speed access at home last year at this time [2007]”. • This increase of 8% compared to the previous year’s increase of 5% suggests that the digital divide is decreasing • Findings show that low-income Americans’ broadband connections decreased by 3%.

  6. Positive Aspects • Internet and Blogs • Advancement in collective thought, communication, and creativity • Advances society in democratic ideals • Creates programs and organizations that help underprivileged communities and countries advance technologically • One Laptop Per Child Project • E-rate program, and • USAID • IGADD (Investor Group Against Digital Divide) • Promotes competition which fosters new technology

  7. Criticism • Why use the internet? A matter of ignorance. • Many people who don't use computers on a regular basis do not understand why people who do use it need to use it in the first place. • Can you hear me now? • Some people argue that poor wifi reception in more rural locations add to the digital divide between those who live closer and further from cities and more technologically savvy areas. • It doesn't exist! • The Digital Divide is often said to be a perceived gap. With the development of technology, computers will become more friendly for individual use and there won't be a gap any longer.

  8. Opinion • Digital divide is growing and shrinking • Current policies that foster shrinkage: • One Laptop Per Child, IGADD, etc. • More of these! • Current policies that are increasing the divide: • Broadband gouging- cost • Urban priority • Ignorance- disregard for the existence of a divide • Lack of education • Less of these!