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The Digital Divide: Final Paper

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The Digital Divide: Final Paper

Niaja Horne

INF103: Computer Literacy

Instructor John Brown

March 5, 2018

The Digital Divide: Final Paper

The digital divide is basically when some people have very easy access to computers and then internet, and others, mainly underprivileged people, are not able to use computers or the internet at all. It particularly involves information rich people on one side and poor people, who might live in a country that is underdeveloped or they might live in a rural area that doesn’t have any type of internet access. In our textbook, it states that, “In 1990, 22% of all homes in the United States had a personal computer. This percentage increased to 63% by 2001, and in 2004, nearly 75%of all Americans had Internet access in their homes. While this is a high number, and growing daily (especially among multiple-computer households) there are still a significant number of people without computers or Internet access, and they are getting left behind in school and in the workplace” (Baase, 2008, p. 372). Computers and the internet are basically a wealth of knowledge for the people that have access to them, but we have to make sure that the world does not become divided into a two class society. Also, Bowles (2013) stated that, “Those who take part in the wonderful world of computing have an ethical responsibility to understand issues of right and wrong, fairness, access, and equality that exist in the digital world. By making wise and ethical decisions, we can help ensure that power does not corrupt and that knowledge is shared equally” (sec. 1.3, para.10) .

In this article the research that was conducted showed that the people with disabilities all had experiences with ICT and ICT-AT, but that they still had difficulty in the actual use of technology. It is stated that, “Thus, further discussing the results of the current study, it seems that one of the main challenges identified is the lack of sufficient skills and knowledge to effectively participate in digital society, and to contribute to the reduction of the socio-economic digital divide” (Mavrou, Meletiou-Mavrotheris, Kärki, Sallinen, & Hoogerwerf, 2017, p. 72). However, this important fact creates a problem because ICT-AT apparently plays a big role in education and also deals with the transition from education to employment. This article also stated that, “All interviewees (end users, providers and trainers) agreed that the use of ICT-AT has expanded the learning opportunities for many PwD of all ages and has the potential to help PwD fully access, participate, and communicate in educational and social environments” (Mavrou, Meletiou-Mavrotheris, Kärki, Sallinen, & Hoogerwerf, 2017, p. 72).

In this article, research shows that there is a gender gap when it comes to using the internet for entertainment, and women utilizes this less than men do. However, the authors stated that, “Unsurprisingly, students seek online information more frequently. Employment, full-time or part-time, is associated with increased commercial transaction use. University education similarly predicts information seeking positively, and additionally commercial transaction usage. Internet experience was included as a “composite summary” of the first-level divide that still has effects today” (Büchi, Just, & Latzer, 2016, p. 2718). People with internet experience are known to access the internet more for informational and commercial use, and older adults and people with lower education and internet experience, have become very disconnected from social, cultural, and etc. which they are able to find through the use of the internet.

I feel like from Bowles point of view, he was seeing the digital divide as an ethical issue that needs to get solved before our world becomes technologically divided basically. He mentions that even though the number of computers in households and the number of people with internet access has increased, that there are still many more people out there that don’t have internet access. I agree with his statement because there are many underdeveloped countries and areas around the world that have never even seen a computer or never had internet access. Of course with these countries and areas not having this privilege, the people are suffering in school, some can’t get jobs because they have no experience with computers, and some just never had the chance to have a proper education.

In this article, the viewpoint of the authors is basically that the digital divide is bad and that they need the ICT and the ICT-AT, to help the people that are disabled learn or get back into how to to use the internet. They are concerned that the disabled people won’t be able to get the education they deserve or be able to get jobs, so they use the ICT-AT, so that they can be independent and learn on their own and this is why it plays such a vital role. Also, the authors stated that, “This is largely supported by previous research and literature, indicating the positive impact of ICT-AT on disabled people’s participation in life situations [24,32]” (Mavrou, Meletiou-Mavrotheris, Kärki, Sallinen, & Hoogerwerf, 2017, p. 72). Now with them learning this, they know that ICT-AT is having a positive impact on people with disabilities because it is helping to teach them how to get back into the social environment and how to use technology as well.

In this article, I feel like from these authors viewpoints, they compared New Zealand, The United States, and The United Kingdom, mainly because they wanted to see which country used the internet more. The authors stated that, “Evidently, widespread Internet access does not correspond to equality in usage. We confirm the existence of a second-level divide in high-penetration countries and the plausibility and comparability of four usage factors in English-speaking countries” (Büchi, Just, & Latzer, 2016, p. 2717). It seems that they thought that because these countries have plenty of internet access, that they would all be using the same amount of it. Also, they discovered that the United Kingdom had the lowest overall second digital divide out of the United States and New Zealand. This basically told them that the UK doesn’t really use their internet as much as the US and NZ.

As I read through the section I chose in the textbook and my two articles that I chose, I noticed that all of them were basically on the same side. They all agree that something needs


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