Audio Summation: Week 4, Participation and the digital divide.
Follow the link to my Tellegami presentation focusing on the week 4 topic ‘Participation and the digital divide’.
Script for Audio Files.
What is digital divide?
Howell (2012) stated that a digital divide can be explained as being the gap between what can be afforded and what cannot in reference to ICT.
Bentley mentioned that devices such as desktops, laptops, and smartphones are becoming more affordable for the majority of households, but it’s the cost of broadband services that can hold a family back. Affordable internet would be the key to bridging the divide.
I live in a small coastal town population of 8000, where broadband is very hit and miss. The NBN service has not arrived here and will most likely take a long time and when it is introduced will be a satellite link. Telephone reception is also a problem and only about 2 businesses in town other than the library offer free Wi-Fi. This divide is evident when visiting larger towns and having 4G and being able to hook up to numerous free Wi-Fi connections. It makes daily life and learning a struggle.
Living in a regional area is definitely a disadvantage, although large corporations like Telstra who are trying to introduce the services still sometimes come up against obstacles. We are primarily a tourist town and do not have the infrastructure to accommodate the influx of visitors in summer. Our internet services come to a standstill and using any form of technology is fairly non-existent.
Upon morning drop offs at my daughter’s kindergarten room, I witnessed the struggle of her teacher trying to log on to the laptops so the class could participate in their online literacy program. The school has constant network problems and the children are the ones to suffer. Larger schools in city areas would not be experiencing this problem and therefore makes regional children disadvantaged.
Hopefully in the years to come the digital divide is soo minimal that all teachers and students are on an even playing field.
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Melbourne, Victoria; Australia. Oxford University Press.
Bentley, P.(2014, July 3). Lack of affordable broadband creating digital divide. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/bridging-the-digital-divide/5566644