Participation and Digital Divide

With the growth of the digital world being so rapid, a considerable portion of society was left behind (Howell, 2012) and are now not getting the benefits we take for granted every day. Our digital world is unequal as some people do not have access to the digital world and for many of these people in their situations they can be helped into the new digital world and this gap must be closed. It the people’s responsibility with the access to do so.

Economic status is a big factor for people having access to the digital world. People in low income families tend to have less access to the internet both at school and at home (Howell, 2012). Schools have a responsibility to recondense this gap and provide appropriate support alongside the government to bridge the gap ensuring fair access and therefore opportunities for all regardless of income. Other factors that affect the digital divide are employment, age (the elderly did not grow up with the technology, so they are less likely to adapt to using it), being indigenous (plays a roll), living with a disability, living in rural areas where access to technology is in of itself a challenge, and education background (Barr, 2014). University students on average have more access to the digital world and therefore the digital divide is less then people who have only completed basic schooling in Australia (Barr, 2014). This is because in schools today technology has the misconception of not being necessary where in university and further studies, technology is essential to completing any course. This ideology about schools and technology needs to be changed and the digital diving prevalent within schools must be closed for successful future.

It is obvious that the digital divide needs to be closed but doing this is no easy task as it talks money from places that won’t give money or from people who don’t have it (Pontin, 2016). Teachers are responsible for incorporating technology within their education system and teaching skills students will be using for the rest of their life. We must be teaching these skills in a targeted manner through repetition and invoking students to self-discover the vastness and immense ability the internet has too help education in a safe environment. Parents then have the responsibility to carry over what the school is teaching and cater for their child’s needs technology wise as best they can, and communities can get together if groups if struggling and together provide the tools necessary for success. Schools must be assessing what they students have available to them compared to what they should be using in an ideal world and ensure all students are given the same opportunities to participate in the digital world. These actions will help to close the gap seen in today’s classrooms in Australia moving forward together.

References

Barr, P. (2014). The digital divide is narrowing but more needs to be done. Retrieved From: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-digital-divide-is-narrowing-but-more-needs-to-be-done

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration & Creativity, Textbook, Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press

Pontin, J. (2016). Closing the Digital Divide Isn’t Easy- But We Have to Try. Retrieved From: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603061/closing-the-digital-divide-isnt-easy-but-we-have-to-try/

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