Saturday, May 02, 2009

Digital Divide

The readings as well as the discussion of this semester have clearly demonstrated that there is a digital divide, and though the definition and proposed solutions differ greatly, it is there. The arguments from the week on questioning the divide ring hollow and fail to adequately refute its existence. The digital divide is not a black and white issue with only haves and haves not, there are gradations of access and understanding as noted in Warschauer. For me the digital divide reflects a social, economic divide as well as access to technology and the knowledge to use it effectively. This new information or knowledge society demands certain skills and understanding related to technology and those who do not have access or have less access or fewer skills will be disadvantaged. Though I also don’t have a clear idea on how to bridge the gap, I feel that throwing technology at the problem without training or other support is not the answer. Warschauer in the introduction to Technology and Social Inclusion and many others we read clearly show that technology only solutions fall short of the claims that access is everything. I feel that Warschauer’s model of addressing many different resources as well as using the framework of social inclusion would be able to create sustainable, successful programs.

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