PARTICIPATION AND THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

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(Bridging the digital divide, 2015)

Growing up technology was not a big part of my household. I was raised primarily by my mother. She worked hard but did not earn a lot and the money she did have went to essential items like petrol, food and clothes. It’s weird to think of it now but we classified a computer and Internet luxury items, I can now see I grew up apart of a digital divide.

In Howell’s book she discussed that “The digital divide is the digital gap between individuals, households and businesses in different geographic areas and their access to technology within the different socioeconomic classes” (Howell, 2012, p55). The above definition describes many different factors that are contributing to the digital divide. All people have different circumstances, some that allow minor access to devices, some that allow none and maybe even people who can afford the device but not to go online. This last point was discussed in an article written by Bentley, where she states that “currently one in five Australians are not accessing the internet” even though the price of devices like laptops and mobile phones have dropped (Bentley, 2014). This is due to poor access to cheap and reliable broadband. This is an example of just one divide that needs to be bridged as the Internet shouldn’t be viewed as a novelty but an essential service for every human being (Bentley, 2014).

As future educators of people from all walks of life we cannot assume that all of our students have access to the required technologies needed of them in the Australian Curriculum. During school hours there will be exposure to technology, how much will depend on the school and also teacher, but outside of the classroom many of the above factors can build up that digital divide. There is a quote used by Bentley where they say “In Europe for example, access to the internet is now deemed a human right” (Bentley, 2014). Until Australia gets to this point we must be aware that such a divide does exist and in certain situations be understanding and either assist or have alternatives for these children.

 

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT : digital pedagogies for collaboration & creativity. South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Oxford University Press

Bentley, P. (2014). Bridging the digital divide. ABC News. Retrieved 28 April 2016, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/bridging-the-digital-divide/5566644 

Bridging the Digital Divide – All Education blogs about Entrance exams, Colleges, Courses online on globaleducates.com. (2015). All Education blogs about Entrance exams, Colleges, Courses online on globaleducates.com. Retrieved 28 April 2016, from http://www.globaleducates.com/blog/bridging-the-digital-divide/

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