For my scholar blog post, I would like to talk about what I believe actually causes the digital divide. I took interest in this topic after seeing the importance of technology in all aspects of life, especially in education. In Delavan, the students are given Chromebooks for the duration of the school year, and in the health class I observed, videos on the different health topics were a big part of the curriculum. I got me thinking a little bit more about this topic, which is why I decided to post about it. TO get you started, here a quick video defining the digital divide
The digital divide, as defined by Dr. Schloman, is “the gulf between those who have ready access to current digital technology (esp. computers and the Internet) and those who do not; (also) the perceived social or educational inequality resulting from this” (Schloman, 2004). Many things can result from the inability to access technology. It could be money, resources, or maybe those who don’t have it don’t want to use it. When Dr. Schloman talks in her article, she mentons that it is very wide on a global scale, which makes sense, as there are many first-world countries who only have technological access from other countries, but also very deep because it affects the underprivileged negatively.
Of course, one man felt that the digital divide isn’t as simple as some of us make it out to be. According to PhD candidate David Nemer, “It does not necessarily offer nuanced understandings of socioeconomic conditions under which the marginalized live. ” (Nemer, 2015). He actually felt the term “digital inclusion” would be more useful under the circumstances. A very interesting take on this subject.
Another student gave one concrete reason for this phenomenon, stating “Inoperable equipment is another reason for the digital divide.” (Smith, 2015). Inoperable equipment, of course, means either outdated to the point where it doesn’t function like it used to, or even new equipment that could never get the job done in the first place.
As you can see, all three of these people believe that the digital divide is a big a big problem in today’s society, especially with how important technology is in the 21st Century, and must be fixed in some way.
However, all three of these articles have different goals in their papers. Dr. Schloman’s paper discusses that health care specialists need to support their patients that can not access technology, and get them to collaborate with public libraries for internet access. Mr. Nemer’s paper wants us to know about what goes into the digtal divide, and that our answer to solving it has nothing to do with technology, but it does require us to fix the economic and social issues behind the divide. Finally, Ms. Smith’s goal from her paper is similar to Dr. Schloman’s, in the fact that public libraries need to get involved, however, she is talking to the general public and wants her audience to get help from public librarians. and calls them (the librarians) to help as well, by adjusting their collection and providing their libraries with proper technology.
As shown, the target audience for each paper is different. Dr. Schloman’s paper is directed towards health-care professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and other people who work in the health care field, Mr. Nemar’s paper is directed towards the general public, and Ms. Smith’s paper is directed toward public librarians. Although, anyone could read this paper to learn something.
After looking over these journals, I saw that all three of these papers had excellent points, discussing the problems, stating their views about the problem, and finally, how they believe their target audiences can fix the issue. From this, I learned that there really is no one issue responsible for the digital divide. There are many things that can contribute. For example, poverty plays a big part, since some people may not be able to afford technology. Another thing is improper access to the internet, because even though some people can’t access the internet, there are places that provide free WiFi, but not every public building has it, and some places may not let the public access it. Another problem is people who may not know how to use it, especially if they are older, had have never seen that kind of technology before and have never been taught how to use it.
The way I think we can solve this problem has more to do with technology, since I don’t know how to fix this problem within the economy, is to teach our older generations how to properly use it, so they don’t have to get frustrated every time they use it. We also need to increase public WiFi Hotspots within a few establishments, so people can go to more places to access the internet.
I know that technology can be a distraction in many ways, and we can get a little too engulfed in it at times, but if we learn how to control it properly, it can be a valuable tool for work, school, or connecting with others. After all, shouldn’t we be able to master technology, instead of having it master us? However, how can we do that if there are people who can’t utilize it in the first place?
- Schloman, B. (May 7, 2004). Information Resources Column: “The Digital Divide: How Wide and How Deep?” Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Available: www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Volume92004/No2May04/TheDigitalDivideHowWideandHowDeep.aspx
- Nemer, D. (2015). From Digital Divide to Digital Inclusion and Beyond: A Positional Review. Retrieved from http://ci-journal.net/in.dex.php/ciej/article/view/1030/1131
- Smith, T. M. (2015, August). THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND ITS EFFECT ON STUDENT LEARNING. Retrieved from http://centralspace.ucmo.edu/bitstream/handle/123456789/426/Smith_LIBRARY%20SCIENCE.pdf?sequence=1