DIGITAL DIVIDE Laura Laham Grace Thornton Jason Chen

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Laura Laham
Grace Thornton
Jason Chen
Mike Ornstein
DIGITAL DIVIDE
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.
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.
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
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%.
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
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.
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!
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