The term digital divide is described as the divide in the world where people who have and don’t have access to the online world. It also distinguishes the” capability to use – modern information technology, such as the telephone, television, or the Internet”. (Rouse,2005). The divide is noticeable in people who live in cities and those who live in the country. The divide can also exists through educated and non- educated individuals, economic classes and the less developed technologically nations.
Common Sense media a nonprofit company conducted an survey analyzing the amount of time children under the age of eight years old are spending their time in front of the screens.The study found that there is a common gap between children who come from wealthier families. Who are seen to spend more time involved with mobile networking. Compared to “lower-income children who are more involved in traditional TV watching”. (Kim,2011).
Case Study- Digital Divide in practice – Educators fear digital divide for students if Canberra pulls out for free laptop scheme.
The digital divide is a prime example in the case study of parents facing fears that without their children being ‘tech savvy’ they could end up being classified as being at the wrong side of the digital divide.”A big reason for that (the National Secondary School Computer Fund) coming into existence was to close that digital divide; that equity gap that existed within education,” said Joseph Sweeney, author of the Bring Your Own Device In Education report.
It posses the question if those families cannot afford computers for their children will they therefore be classified as having an educational disadvantage?
The game is seen to be an extension of the digital divide as lower- income families are seen to take a longer period of time to embrace new and selected technologies because of cost factors. . “But as more apps proliferate that are designed to educate and engage younger children, it can help make them more digitally savvy at a younger age”. (Kim,2011).
This can help to prove the difference between children who are able to master and implement their own digital technology skills from a very young age. Therefore apps are they can be viewed as an educational tool which poses an unfair advantage to those families who cant afford to provide these ‘ imperative educational ‘resources to their children.
Another aspect that the digital divide is affecting is indigenous communities. As they are seen to use “about a third of the power consumed by a suburban home, is six times more prone to overcrowding, and probably doesn’t have a home internet connection”.(Thomas,2012)Smaller communities are seen to be given federal funding who have been given internet access, computers and regular visits from experts. To help close the gap on the divide in society. It poses the question should those who live in rural communities or can not financial afford technology be categorized on the wrong side of the digital divide. What has become an increase in the divide in these communities are the cultural differences and the scarce resources that are available to them.
Compared to people in urban and regional areas who don’t have access to the internet as they lack the access of digital and physical resources. There are digital resources in these communities but they are just rare.
Advertising opportunities are being established in developing countries, to help those who are classified to be on the wrong side of the digital divide. To educationally teach and guide them to the online world. “The adoption of tablets and smart phones in Pakistan is seeing a double digit rate rise in digital advertising, driven by banner, search, social media and online video”.(Mohsin, 2012)
Brooks, S., Donovan, P., & Rumble, C. (2005). Developing nations, the digital divide and research databases. Serials Review, 31 (4), 270-278. Retrieved November 24, 2013 from www.ebscohost.com/uploads/imported/thisTopic-dbTopic-873.pdf.
Herald Sun. (2012, November 20). Educators fear ‘digital divide’ for students if canberra pulls out of free laptop scheme. Retrieved November 25, 2013 from http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/educators-fear-digital-divide-for-students-if-canberra-pulls-out-of-free-laptop-scheme/story-fncynkc6-1226520160157.
Kim, R. (2011, October 25). ‘App gap’ emerges highlighting savvy mobile children. Retrieved November 25, 2013 from http://gigaom.com/2011/10/25/app-gap-emerges-highlighting-savvy-mobile-children/.
Mohsin, U. (2012). Interview: Bridging the digital divide. Retrieved Novem 26th, 2013.http://archives.dawn.com/archives/70583.
Rouse,M. (2005). What is the digital divide?. Available: http://searchciomidmarket.techtarget.com/definition/digital-divide. Last accessed 26th Nov 2013.
Thomas, J. & Rennie, E. (2012, October 16). Bridging the bush’s digital divide. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved November 26, 2013 from http://apo.org.au/commentary/bridging-bushs-digital-divide.