Getting Technical

The Digital Divide

world digital divide

In today’s society technology is becoming more and more important and it is almost a necessity to have access to and be able to use current technology available. However not all people have access to, or able to use current technologies and it is this discrepancy that we call the digital divide

Where does this divide come from? It could be from being a developing country; it could be due to socioeconomic factors such as education, income, culture, etc. Looking at statistics – coming from a low income area or household, living in a developing nation, having a lack of education or even just being a woman could mean that you are less likely to have access to information and communication technologies. It is difficult to imagine a world without computers, cell phones or the internet; but for more than half of the population that is their reality. On the bright side year by year technology is reaching more and more people.

The knowledge gap hypothesis implies that people of both high and low socioeconomic statuses will gain more knowledge due to an increase in information; however persons of higher socioeconomic status will gain more. Meaning that the relative gap in knowledge between the well-to-do and less well-off would increase. We can only hope that bridging the digital divide will help in keeping the knowledge gap hypothesis from becoming a reality in which there would always be technological inequality.

The introduction of e-governance (which refers to the use of *ICT’s by government) is I think helping to bridge the digital divide, as it compels citizens to adopt and be able to use new technologies. Many companies, organizations and individuals have created, or are taking part in programs to help bridge the digital divide. Together we can make a difference.

– By Victoria Driver

* information and communication technologies

The Digital Divide:

A video about how to approach bridging the digital divide:

A video on the Knowledge Gap Hypothesis:

 

Great Links:

http://wireless.ictp.trieste.it/simulator/.

http://techow.net/2012/04/11/how-the-digital-divide-is-affecting-us-in-2012-infographic/

http://off.www2012.org/digital-divide-www2012-themes-in-infographics/?lang=en

http://communicationsconsumersunited.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/GigaOm-our-connected-world-original.png

http://wearewhatwedo.org/infographics/isnt-everyone-using-the-internet/

http://www.bridgethedigitaldivide.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43_UvESIBHI

 

References:

1) OECD (2001). understanding the digital divide. Paris: OECD Publications. p1-32. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.oecd.org/sti/1888451.pdf. [Accessed 27 April 2013].

2) Ndlovu, N S, 2010. Masters in Education Research Project. Masters. School of Education : UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND. P18-32. [ONLINE] Available at: http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10539/9407/Research%20Proj_N.S.Ndlovu_0618698K.pdf?sequence=1. [Accessed 27 April 2013].

3) Piazolo, Daniel, The Digital Divide. CESifo Forum, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2001, pp. 29-34. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.cesifo-group.de/pls/guestci/download/CESifo%20Forum%202001/CESifo%20Forum%203/2001/Forum301-focus5.pdf. [Accessed 27 April 2013].

4) Bridging the Digital Divide. 2013. Bridging the Digital Divide. [ONLINE] Available at: http://web.riverdeep.net/current/2002/01/011402t_divide.jhtml. [Accessed 27 April 2013].

5) Effective use: A community informatics strategy beyond the Digital Divide | Gurstein | First Monday. 2013. Effective use: A community informatics strategy beyond the Digital Divide | Gurstein | First Monday. [ONLINE] Available at: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/1107/1027. [Accessed 27 April 2013].

6) Digital Divide – ICT Information Communications Technology – 50×15 Initiative. 2013. Digital Divide – ICT Information Communications Technology – 50×15 Initiative. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.internetworldstats.com/links10.htm. [Accessed 27 April 2013].

7) Defining E-Governance: UNESCO-CI. 2013. Defining E-Governance: UNESCO-CI. [ONLINE] Available at: http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=4404&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html. [Accessed 28 April 2013].

8) Mphidi, H. (2009) Digital divide and egovernance in South Africa. IN PIENAAR, D. H. &. OLADIRAN, P. T. (Eds.) African Digital Scholarship & Curation 2009. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ais.up.ac.za/digi/docs/mphidi_paper.pdf. [Accessed 27 April 2013].

9) Bonfadelli, H. (2002). The Internet and Knowledge Gaps A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation. European Journal of Communication, 17(1), 65–84.

Image References:

Top image in article – ICTP Digital Divide Simulator. 2013. ICTP Digital Divide Simulator. [ONLINE] Available at: http://wireless.ictp.trieste.it/simulator/. [Accessed 29 April 2013]

Featured image on blog – The Digital Divide – [infographic] | Benjamin Christine Scrapbook. 2013. The Digital Divide – [infographic] | Benjamin Christine Scrapbook. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.blog.benjieboo.co.uk/2012/02/the-digital-divide-infographic/. [Accessed 29 April 2013].

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