Today, the term ‘inequality’ is everywhere - on TV, in newspapers and magazines, and more and frequently, online. But the area of ‘inequality’ that’s not getting enough attention is the ‘digital divide’!
The digital divide is an economic inequality between individuals and groups, in terms of who has access to, use of, and knowledge of information and communications technology (ICT). It refers to inequalities between individuals, households, businesses, and geographic areas at different socioeconomic and other demographic levels.
Who has access to high speed internet, desktop computers, laptops, smart phones, tablets such as iPads, electronic book readers, MP3 players, and Xboxes or PlayStations? Studies show that individuals and groups at higher economic levels have far greater access to these ICT's (information and communication technologies) than those at lower economic levels. And this matters, a lot, because those with greater access have enhanced advantages and opportunities for acquiring information, education, economic resources, and services (including online medicine where patients at home will be able to speak with their doctors online, and thus get access to lower-cost, higher-quality of care). This all translates into enhanced advantages in achieving cultural and social capital, as well as mass economic gains due to greatly increased productivity.
One of the most important social, economic, and ethical questions facing us today is this: How can the incredible benefits of the internet and new information and communications technologies be made available to a broader range of individuals and groups, especially those in disadvantaged communities?
It’s, definitely, time to close this ‘digital divide’ (dd) so that everyone can benefit from the tremendous advantages and benefits offered by these rapidly evolving digital ICT's (information and communications technologies), which are so important to one’s ability to succeed in today’s digital world, and to the betterment of one's community.
Let’s make sure no one gets left behind!
For more information on the ‘digital divide’ and effective ways to address it see the following links:
'App Gap' Emerges Highlighting Savvy Mobile Children - gigaom.com
Close The Gap - close-the-gap.org
Comcast and Khan Academy Announce Partnership to Help Close Digital Divide - Comcast
Digital Divide - Wikipedia
Digital Divides and Bridges: Technology Use Among Youth - Pew Research Center
Falling Through the Net: A Survey of the "Have Nots" in Rural and Urban America - U. S. Dept. of Commerce
The Digital Divide Isn't Racial - It's Economic - Salon.com
The Digital Divide: Resource Roundup - Edutopia
The Digital Divide Will Ensure A Broadband Ghetto - gigaom.com
The Digital Divide: Where We Are - Edutopia
The New Digital Divide - New York Times Sunday Review
Obama Announces Public and Private Investments for High-Speed Internet in Schools - Washington Post
One Laptop Per Child - one.laptop.org
Has the digital divide affected you? What examples can you give, or suggestions can you make, to help close the digital divide?
Until next time,
Hi! I'm Kenneth Lillard, author, ordained minister, and motivational speaker. This blog is an expression of some of my thoughts and opinions. I'm glad you stopped by. Hope you'll share some of your comments while you're here. Be Blessed!