The Digital Divide

Digital Participation | Week 4
digital divide 2

The Infographic above explores elements of the “Digital Divide”, a recognized inequality in access to, or knowledge of, information communication technology (ICT).

The Digital Divide is a ‘local’ issue, affecting students throughout Australia, as well as a ‘global’ issue, affecting developing nations throughout the world.

As Jennifer Howell (2012) discussed “not everyone will have had access to the same technologies, nor will they have the same understandings of technology” (p.56). The ‘digital divide’ in Australia is influenced by factors such as socio-economic background (household income), geography (internet access and quality), cultural background (English as a Second Language, ESL), age and disability.

Overcoming the digital divide within education and society becomes more and more important on a daily basis, as referred to in the quotation below from The Australian Curriculum:

Australians conduct their routine daily activities through a wide and complex range of oral and written language and images. Our sense of belonging to local, institutional, national, and, increasingly, virtual communities, and our ability to contribute meaningfully to those communities, increasingly depends on how well we communicate. (as cited in Howell, 2012, p. 63).

Effectively, the ‘digital divide’ affects more than just a person’s limited access to, or sufficient knowledge of, technology, but their ability to use technology to participate in society. Without technology, or adequate knowledge of how to use it, members of society will become more isolated resulting in social exclusion.

From an educational perspective, Australia must look for effective ways of overcoming this ‘divide’ to ensure that students receiving education in Australia have equal opportunities to experience and understand technologies to be digitally fluent in their higher education and post-school lives.

digital divide

 

Following On…

Here are two Word Mosaics I created via Image Chef relating to being Digitally “Connected” and Digitally “Disconnected”:

Image Chef - Connected themeImage Chef - Not connected

 

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Access Denied [Image] (2013). Retrieved from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/stories/digital-divide

No title [Image 2] (2013). Retrieved from http://www.ecdl.org/blog_post.jsp?blogID=1&a=4998

 

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