Digital divide is a term that refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don’t or have restricted access(Howell 2012). This technology can include the telephone, television, personal computers and the Internet.
So what are the ramifications for people living in the jungles of the Amazon or even here in rural Australia? I’m from the country in South Australia and our connection is so slow you may as well drive the 30 minutes into town and do your banking at the local branch and then drive home again. Which is fine but it’s not making your life easier, which is the whole point of having the internet. So why pay for something that doesn’t work. Very frustrating. Probably another reason I was never really a fan of the internet…. it was too slow! So I would give up and drag out an encyclopaedia to finish my assignment. Risky since those things are pretty much obsolete because they became so outdated. I can only imagine how unfair it is for kids in poverty and low socio-economic schools that are restricted by cost and access to broad band.
In Australia our governments are trying to reduce the gap by introducing more services online (Barr, 2014). Yes how awesome is it not to have to stand in line for an hour and half to re-register my car! The internet platform mygov has many services for people to access without the physical need to stand in those horrible lines for hours on end. So their aim is to reduce costs by getting people to do all these things online themselves (faster and more convenient) and therefore in turn making them deliver the internet to more regional locations.
But more needs to be done. It has to happen faster and more efficiently to narrow the gap between people that have access to the internet and those that don’t. The use of technology in the classroom is prevelant and students have expectations that they can have access to these technologies (Howell, 2012)It has to become affordable to people in these tiny little backwater places. Everyone should be able to have access to information and services equally.
Barr, P (2014).The digital divide is narrowing but more needs to be done. Retrieved from:http://theconversation.com/the-digital-divide-is-narrowing-but-more-needs-to-be-done-25994
Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.