Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Video Reflection

Our group went through several ideas and finally decided to highlight the differences in access between a student and the general population. This allowed us to compare our personal access to the rest of the world, which helped me better appreciate how significant differences in access are. What we realized is that a short time without internet access for us seems catastrophic but is minor when compared with the many people who have no home access at all and may have trouble getting transportation to CTC’s. The largest divide students see on campus is the divide between students who have computers and high-speed internet access and students who do not have a computer at all but can rent one from the library or use a workstation anytime. Although this divide may seem significant to us, it is minor compared to the real digital divide. This project forced us to think about the divides we see personally and then look at the bigger picture. Otherwise it is hard to appreciate the significance of the digital divide when our exposure to it as students is so limited.


For those of you who need a refresher on the movie Legacy there is a great link that does a good job of displaying themes and summary of the documentary. The link is this:

Check it out before the final it may help


How did Elfreda Chatman’s theories about Information Poverty and Life in the Round match the experiences of the Collins family in the documentary Legacy?

1)The information poor perceive themselves to be devoid of any sources that might help them

This is obviously true with the legacy video, the mother of the family felt that the welfare ppl were uncooperative and refused to helpp her the way they promised that they would. A big difference was that the daughter, (nikki?) knew that there were ppl that are willing to help them (schoalrships) and went to her mentor to get it.

2)Information poverty is partially associated with class distinction
The Collins family obviously didnt have much information and thus can be seen whent hey went to other ppl for help on alot of basic things.

3) Information poverty is determined by self-protective behaviors, which are used in response to social norms
Because the mother didnt want to seem ignorant and worthless, she didnt really stick with those information sessions and job offers.

4) Both secrecy and deception are self-protecting mechanisms due to a sense of mistrust regarding the interest or ability of others to provide useful information
> well i cant really think of anyhting in legacy that relates to this point but its definitely a good point which we are aware of in real life - we often ask - why is this person being soo nice/.?

5) A decision to risk exposure about our true feelings is often not taken due to perception that negative consequences outweigh benefits
Again, this can be related to the mother not going through fully with school.

6) New knowledge will be selectively introduced into the information world of poor people. A condition that influences this process is the relevance of that information in response to everyday problems and concerns.
Sholarship information with Nikki.

Toward a New Agenda- group 4

"Toward A New Agenda" in Bridging the digital divide: Technology, community and public policy
1.) Providing a summary/ 6. Relating your article to the larger themes from the class
Toward a new agenda focused on two arguments. First in order to further the CT movement information concerning limitations of technology needs to be analyzed. Secondly, in order to achieve bridging broad social goals coordination is needed between CBOs, CTC, the government and new key actors. The article begins by explaining the current situation; currently, ITs offer "freedom, flexibility, and opportunity primarily to already powerful groups". Technology is currently not being used properly as a tool is it is not supported and thus aggravates inequalities and the digital divide. To achieve the goals outlined in the article the article suggests focusing on youth. This may not have immediate benefits but has positive long term effects. This plan will erode "existing inequalities in the span of one generation". A second suggestion is to integrate the government with key actors. To further governmental support thus creating incentives for collaboration between schools and CTCs. Libraries are the current leaders in in the communuity technology movement, due to available resources. Libraries have a existing infrastructure, staff, training in information science and advanced skills. The main emphasis of the article is to create partnerships between existing resources and further government support. This will be achievable through a "new generation of policy efforts characterized by greater integration"... "and a willingness to change".

2.) Defining key terms
"Digital Exile" : one of five categories individuals are grouped into concerning technology in the workplace. It is the extreme or the wrong side of the digital divide.
"Power Users": Also one of five categories individuals are grouped into concerning technology in the workplace (an It savvy category). this is the opposite of the digital exile, these individuals have all types of access and use technology for analysis
"Tech-fix": Describes the myth that technology is primarily a problem solver
"social leveler": the ability to erode the relative power of all kinds of hierarchies structured on the control of information.

3.) Analyzing potentially weak points in the author’s argument
The Article gave suggestions on how to advance the community technology movement but failed to mention why their ideas were thought to work. The article gave suggestion after suggestion, ranging from government intervention to partnerships but never gave a reason for why their suggestion was thought to be correct. Support of their ideas from previous analysis or experiments was never given.

4.) Comparing your article to our past readings
Past articles have discussed CTCs and their importance in bridging the digital divide. Toward a new agenda critiques the role CTCs are playing. This article suggests not enough collaboration with other organizations with the main goal of education, training, and bridging the digital divide.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Understanding Digital Inequality"-Key Terms

Digital Inequality- "inequality in the access and use of information and communication technologies" (pg 98).  

Socio-economic Inequality- "associated with differential behavioral patterns in such fields as sociology, marketing, health psychology, and child development.  Socio-economic status essentially brings out a synergy of social and economic forces that derive from assets internal to individuals and resources contained in their surrounding environments" (pg. 99).

User Acceptance- term used to "represent individuals' continuance usage intention of the sponsored technology" (pg 98).  User acceptance is important in that "government initiatives to implement ICT (information and communication technologies) will not alter the state of digital inequality unless there is continued usage."  In other words, closing the digital divide is not possible by simply providing access, users must be willing to continue to use the technology even after they are provided with material access.

Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB)- "suggests that attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control will influence the individual's behavioral intention, which will in turn determine the individual's behavior.  Unlike other theories that have been applied to examine ICT acceptance, TPB captures information about social and behavioral control factors" (pg 99).

Personal Network Exposure- "represents the cumulative proportion of adopters in one's personal network" (pg 104).  This research tool is used to measure how behaviors of one's personal network influences ICT use.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Comparing "Understanding Digital Inequality"

This article overlaps quite a bit with van Dijk’s article, in which he discusses the four barriers to access. The “Understanding Digital Inequality” article states early on that “most governmental digital inequality initiatives have emphasized technology access,” and later states, “disadvantaged individuals still need to deal with psychological and material barriers.” Van Dijk would agree that more than just “material access” needs to be addressed and that “mental access” is an equally important barrier. According to the reading, lack of confidence “is one of the most important factors deterring the disadvantaged from accessing and using ICT.” The article also states that “technological complexity” or hard-to-use software is a significant barrier and that programs to increase ICT usage require “significant social support,” which van Dijk would call “skill access,” which is “caused by insufficient user-friendliness and inadequate education or social support.” Finally, the article claims that a higher education level enables the advantaged to “more readily access and comprehend information signals related to ICT innovations.” This is comparable to van Dijk’s instrumental (ability to operate the equipment), informational (ability to search or literacy), and strategic (using information for a purpose) digital skills. A more educated user is more likely to possess these skills or obtain them easily.

The articles we read early on stressed the importance of understanding a community to have the most relevant library services possible so that resources would not be wasted. This was particularly stressed in the “Branch Libraries” article, which explained the steps Chicago had taken to match services to the community. The “Understanding Digital Inequality” article emphasizes this too. “Unsuccessful projects results in a waste of valuable resources, which could discourage the government, residents, and other stakeholders from orchestrating similar initiatives in the future.” Therefore, like earlier articles have suggested it is necessary to “replace the typical generic policy that treats everyone as the same.” These articles also point out that when government takes on a large project to improve the lives of its citizens, it is showing that it takes the community seriously. In other words, building ICT’s shows that the “government is committed to their interests.” The article also encourages “partnerships between government and the private sector,” which is largely emphasized in the “Learning from Seattle” articles.

One of the findings of this article is that less educated people tend to use ICT’s for entertainment. This is consistent with the “Public Internet Access for Young Children in the Inner City” article’s findings. However, neither of the articles discourages this kind of behavior. Instead, the reading states that “recreational use of various kinds of technologies can have educational value.” It suggests that ICT’s should “infuse an educational element into such services so that the disadvantaged can develop useful skills, rather than just enjoying the technology.” Instead of discouraging play altogether, education should be mixed into ICT’s.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Group 3-comparing the article to larger class themes

Servon.  Building the Bridge:  Learning from Seattle.


     This article relates to many larger themes discussed that we discussed throughout the entire semester.  It provides an excellent example of narrowing the digital divide, various organizations and the city working together to solve problems with technology and improve IT problems as well. 

    Seattle's attempt to deal with the technology gap earlier than most cities relates to various attempts to close the digital divide that we have discussed.  Seattle has attempted to address the major challenges of the digital divide by improving access, closing minority technology gaps, and continues to provide more CLCs and to address education issues.  Instead of being content with digital inclusion, as other articles have suggested, Seattle is continuing its quest to minimize the digital divide by setting the goal of technological literacy for all of its residents.  

      Seattle has created a strong emphasis on various organizations and the city working together to make improve technology for everyone within the city.  The city created the Citizens’ Telecommunication and Technology Board to help solve problems with access, income, education, and connectivity.  The city also has a planner to help set goals the city hopes to achieve by narrowing the digital divide.  Seattle works with HUD to help create more CTC is needed areas and to keep them running efficiently.  Bellevue, a local community college provides IT training to all of Seattle’s residents and works closely with technology companies to improve education and access.  The city has created IT tools that work toward their planned goals and promote better technology to all within the city.  The community technology planner has created the ability to work across all local government departments to benefit the residents within the city.

The city of Seattle has attempted to minimize their digital divide by working together and not accepting what they have already accomplished as "good enough".  As a result, more minorities are moving across the digital divide, people dealing with educational issues are able to get training and become skilled, low income residents are able to access CTC centers without the fear of transportation difficulties, and things will continue to improve as long as they stay on track with their goals.  I think this article represents a great attempt to solve all the problems that cause the digital divide.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Review: Group 4, Key Terms "Toward a New Agenda"

~ Community Technology (CT) Movement:  this movement is one in response to the larger socioeconomic transformation that has created our current informational society; uses locally based institutions and programs that act to enlighten and teach about advances in information and computer technology, engage citizens in civil society, and encourage disadvantaged groups to seek the new opportunities presented through the use of new technology

~ IT: "information technology"; IT provides better potential in creating a more economically and socially just society (221); "the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware" (Wikipedia); more often than not, IT offers freedom, flexibility, and opportunity to already tech. powerful demographics

~ "digital exile" vs. "power user":  these terms refer to the opposite ends of the IT skill spectrum; those with little to no experience of skill with IT and other digital resources are considered to be excluded or "exiled", while those considered "power users" represent the technologically savvy and more experienced users;  according to the article, "women and people of color were disproportionately represented in the least IT-savvy categories" (222)
- "low-order task": refers to computer usage such as word processing
- "high-order task": computer usage such as analyzing information and design

~ CTC: fairly obvious since we have mentioned them all semester; "Community Technology Centers";
primary goal is to bring technology to under-served communities, however unlikely to create a largely significant
dent in the digital divide ; key to social bridging capital

~ CBO: "Community-building Organizations" / "Community Based Organizations"; voluntary, civil society
non-profit organizations ; aid in areas of community services and action, health services, educational services,
personal growth and improvement services, and self-help and social welfare groups
- partnerships between CTCs and CBOs are imperative to the growth and success of the Community
Technology Movement

~ "tech-fix": coined by Weinberg in 1966, this term was used to describe the myth that technology is primarily
a problem solver ; in some cases, IT has the ability to aggravate certain spacial and socioeconomic inequalities,
however, with the correct implementation of policies and reform, IT would most definitely lessen the digital divide

Group 2 Video Response/Reflection

our video attempted to put into perspective some of the topics we discussed in class into a context that was much closer to home. I think that often in discussing the digital divide we often make sweeping statements about who is included vs those who are not. The digital divide itself is a fairly generalized and sweeping statement encompassing all parts of access to technology and its uses in our world today. Therefore showing the wealth of opportunities for individuals on our campus we attempted to show that although there are differences in students connection with technology (since they come from diverse backgrounds) that still the campus community is extremely well connected and at the leading edge of the technological revolution. With this privileged spot any small disruption in connection or access seems huge, a seeming digital divide. However this break in connection doesn't suddenly transport us across the digital divide. Here at the university there are so many opportunities that it turns out to be not a problem at all when looked at from a wider lens. By detailing the opportunities for students we attempted to further highlight the stark differences that truly make up a divide in our society in technological access.

All in all I felt that we were relatively successful in communicating this message in such a short time. A more stark contrast could be made if the video continued on to highlight another community which did not have such a comprehensive network of opportunity and access to back them up. By showing these two groups in comparison I think that our message of students privilege would be further fleshed out.

The group worked well to get the filming and editing done. Ideas in the early stages were difficult to form into a cohesive yet time sensitive narrative. It was this portion of the project that was most difficult for our group. By picking a specific area of the narrative though we were able to give in depth look at the student population rather than touching upon a host of ideas without any context or depth.

In the end there were somethings that could have changed or been done differently but i think we were successful in this assignment.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Video Project - Self Reflection

For the video project, I showed up to the meeting to film about our topic which was about 3rd places and their usefulness. I also edited our video content, providing a relatively coherent video with entertainment to keep the audience's attention to the topic, and editing a video takes a deceivingly large amount of time :(

What I learned from making the video was the experience of actually being in a third place and knowing about how it fits into our society. We took the experience of learning about third places in the classroom to actually experiencing what they have to offer and we were able to capture that on video. Hence, I think I was able to appreciate how third places like Starbucks integrate into our society after taking this class, and not being as ignorant about such locations anymore.

Learning from Seattle - Condensed Summary

Group 3 - Seattle Summary


Seattle has attempted to become a Technology literate city. It has better than average access rates to multiple technology sites. IT can play a crucial role in providing access to information to the residents of Seattle, ensuring a more democratic system where the public is informed, thus a better quality of life. Seattle matches the conception that the majority of people who lack access tend to be older, low-income, low education, and African American or Latino. In order to reach out to these citizens, the city has established public work stations, and through those have provided internet access as well. Organizations such as The Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board and The Technology Matching Fund were created to encourage and promote affordable access to and use of telecommunications and technology; advocate, solicit, and facilitate citizen participation in telecommunications and technology decision making; and the Matching Fund has provided money to initiate CTCs, however there is no continuing support. Basically the article keeps talking about the initiatives that Seattle has taken to become a technology literate city. Although it has not completely accomplished its goals, the city of Seattle is well on its way to providing access to the internet to its citizens and is an idealistic role model for other cities to follow.

Group 3

Building the Bridge: Learning from Seattle in Bridging the digital divide: Technology, community and public policy. , Servon,L. J. . Oxford: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated, 2002

Key terms:
Seattle Public Access Network (PAN)-serves as an electronic city hall that allows citizens to obtain city information and services electronically and to communicate with city officials.

Citizens' Telecommunication and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB)-makes recommendations to the mayor and city council on issues of about telecommunications and technology

Citizens' Literacy and Accesss Fund-established by the city to decrease the digital divide. They developed a fiber map detailed with infrastructure investement in the state relating to the digital divide.

CLC-Computer Learning Center-similar to a CTC

Technology Matching Center (TMC)-neighborhood and citywide organizations* that support/create citizen driven technology literacy and access projects.

Seattle Community Network (SCN)-one of the first technological community networks

*the major key term used was IT "Information Technology" and the various complications and attempted remedies to solve IT problems


Jaeger, P. T., Bertot, J. C., McClure, C. R., & Langa, L. A. (2006). The policyimplications of Internet connectivity in public libraries Government InformationQuarterly 23(1): 123-141.

Key terms for the article:
Sufficient connectivity-high enough bandwidth

Broadband connectivity-the transmission speed in which data is transferred

Digital Inclusion-an alternative to the digital divide that focuses on how many people ARE online

"Mission Accomplished" Prospective-viewing current levels of internet access as an accomplishment instead of working to increase the usage levels

E-Government Act of 2002-reinforcement of public libraries providing citizen access to e-government sites

Children's Internet Protection (CIPA)-requires a library to filter Internet access in the library so that children are protected from potentially harmful material

Answers from Review Sheet

Jaeger, P. T., Bertot, J. C., McClure, C. R., & Langa, L. A. (2006). The policy
implications of Internet connectivity in public libraries Government Information
Quarterly 23(1): 123-141.

Jaeger et al. (2006) found that 99.6% of all public libraries provided Internet access on their
public terminals. However, there were still things related to that access that continued the
digital divide. What were the issues?
-Just having high connectivity is not the same as having sufficient connectivity (having high enough bandwidth) to adequately use the Internet services that are available and that meet patron needs.
-Libraries are having problems with the number of public access workstations available for use and that these workstations are not enough to meet demands.
-High-speed connectivity (bandwidth) is not evenly distributed across libraries.
-Patrons served by rural libraries have less access to workstations, non-filtered workstations, high-speed connectivity, and wireless Internet services for patron-owned computer use.
-Government has shifted its attention from digital divide to a focus on "digital inclusion". This focus has moved the policy in a direction from working to increase Internet usage among entire populations to viewing the current levels of access as an accomplishment. This is dangerous because it is accompanied by a reduction in the funds available for many programs.

Hsieh, J. J. Po-An; Rai, Arun; Keil, Mark. (2008). Understanding digital inequality:
Comparing continued use behavioral models of the socio-economically advantaged and
disadvantaged. MIS Quarterly, 32(1): 97-126.

How did computer use differ between disadvantaged (low-income) and advantaged (high-
income) groups in this study?
-pleasure and satisfaction derived from using a technology is more important for the disadvantaged
-utility obtained from using a technology is more critical for the advantaged
-advantaged are better educated and tend to have more access to and experience with ICT, and are therefore in a better position to appreciate it
-disadvantaged use ICT to escape into a virtual world and escape reality (to avoid life difficulties, gambling and substance abuse)
-governments devise initiatives to address digital inequality to help the disadvantaged gain access, use ICT, develop digital skills for work opportunities, and improve their quality of life
-advantaged use computers as personal network exposure

Week Fourteen: April 28 & 30 - Where do we go from here?
Servon, L. J. (2002). Chapter. 8 – Building the Bridge: Learning from Seattle. Bridging
the digital divide: Technology, community and public policy. Wiley, John & Sons,

Which Seattle residents were less likely to have access to computers (page 201)? Compare
these statistics with the Collins family. How many of these characteristics did the Collins
family share?
-Residents less likely to have access tend to be older, low-income, low-education, and African American or Latino.
-The Collins share several of these characteristics. They are low-income, low-educated and are African American. They have inadequate housing, and seek for better education opportunities. They live in the part of the city that is considered the "inner-city" and the people who live there are very poor and predominatly black or brown. Also, the "inner-city" has a lack of material resources for the citizens.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Review for Final Exam

Hsieh, Rai, and Keil. Understanding Digital Inequality: Comparing Continued Use Behavioral Models of the Socio-Economicall Advantaged and Disadvantaged. MIS Quarterly.

Relating the article to broader concepts from class:

The first theme (and probably the easiest to understand) was the issue of socio-economic class and education in the digital divide. For the purposes of this study, these were to two independent variable used to find a difference in access to technology. From class, we know that the lower one's educational attainment and socio-economic class, the less likely they are to use information technology. The article also made it very clear that there are different types of access to technology, as discussed in the Van Dijk article. Access is more than just having a computer and an ethernet cord. Access is knowing how to use the computer, wanting to use the comnputer and using it for somthing that will help better the individual (playing computer games is not an example of this). The article suggested that to get the lower socio-economic people to use computers we should start them playing games. If they play games on the computer, they may learn more about how to use it. In addition, computer anxiety will lessen and they will most likely begin using computers for higher level activities, such as browsing the internet, e-mail, and paying bills online.

The other part of the article talked about the research method, which was the Free Internet TV initiative in LaGrange, Georgia. About 3,500 housholds participated in the study. This reinforced the idea from class that even when technology is made physically availible, the problem is not solved. People were still struggling psychological barriers to access. So policy makers need to understand all the different barriers to access and not just the physical ones.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Video project contribution/ Legacy comments

For the video I attended the first meeting where we brainstormed idea's for the project and assisted in developing questions for our video. I attended our second meeting where we updated each other on our progress and shared files. I then interviewed several people in my apartment complex and shared those videos at the third and final meeting.

As far as legacy goes, I thought it was very inspirational how the daughter, despite everything that was going against her, fought to become a teacher and made a good living for herself. The part I couldn't get over was how lazy/complacent her mother was. I can't imagine having my kids in that situation, and sitting at home most of the days and blowing off job opportunities. I'm not sure if she would have had all kinds of access to technology if she would have taken advantage of it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Toward a New Agenda" in Bridging the digital divide: Technology, community and public policy

Your assignment, in preparation for our final, is to thoroughly discuss the remaining articles via our blog. Our collaboration will make the entire review a lot more productive for everyone.

Keep the following tasks in mind as you're blogging the article:

1.)Provide a summary
2.)Define key terms
3.)Analyze potentially weak points in the author’s argument
4.)Compare your article to our past readings
5.)Read the other groups’ blog posts and comparing it to your article
6.)Relate your article to the larger themes from the class

Feel free to comment on any other group's blog discussions as well. You should be reading them anyway, and providing extra commentary will help us all.

In addition, we'll be distributing a study guide later. Please use this same blog space to discuss that guide.

Building the Bridge: Learning from Seattle." in Bridging the digital divide: Technology, community and public policy

Your assignment, in preparation for our final, is to thoroughly discuss the remaining articles via our blog. Our collaboration will make the entire review a lot more productive for everyone.

Keep the following tasks in mind as you're blogging the article:

1.)Provide a summary
2.)Define key terms
3.)Analyze potentially weak points in the author’s argument
4.)Compare your article to our past readings
5.)Read the other groups’ blog posts and comparing it to your article
6.)Relate your article to the larger themes from the class

Feel free to comment on any other group's blog discussions as well. You should be reading them anyway, and providing extra commentary will help us all.

In addition, we'll be distributing a study guide later. Please use this same blog space to discuss that guide.

Understanding digital inequality: Comparing continued use behavioral models of the socio-economically advantaged and disadvantaged

Your assignment, in preparation for our final, is to thoroughly discuss the remaining articles via our blog. Our collaboration will make the entire review a lot more productive for everyone.

Keep the following tasks in mind as you're blogging the article:

1.)Provide a summary
2.)Define key terms
3.)Analyze potentially weak points in the author’s argument
4.)Compare your article to our past readings
5.)Read the other groups’ blog posts and comparing it to your article
6.)Relate your article to the larger themes from the class

Feel free to comment on any other group's blog discussions as well. You should be reading them anyway, and providing extra commentary will help us all.

In addition, we'll be distributing a study guide later. Please use this same blog space to discuss that guide.

Reading Race Online

Your assignment, in preparation for our final, is to thoroughly discuss the remaining articles via our blog. Our collaboration will make the entire review a lot more productive for everyone.

Keep the following tasks in mind as you're blogging the article:

1.)Provide a summary
2.)Define key terms
3.)Analyze potentially weak points in the author’s argument
4.)Compare your article to our past readings
5.)Read the other groups’ blog posts and comparing it to your article
6.)Relate your article to the larger themes from the class

Feel free to comment on any other group's blog discussions as well. You should be reading them anyway, and providing extra commentary will help us all.

In addition, we'll be distributing a study guide later. Please use this same blog space to discuss that guide.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Group 11 Video Project

Here's the video.

The things I brought to this project were the basic premise of talking about a 3rd space in a 3rd space, and the filming. I thought it was interesting to see if we could find the characteristics of a third space in a real world situation. Initially I thought that the criterion for finding a 3rd space were a bit odd and difficult to fulfill, but after coming up with potential locations to shoot at, it became more and more clear that almost anywhere could be a third space, at least to some degree. I would say that this project made the classroom experience stronger by forcing some of the students who usually don't speak their mind to talk and have a face put to it (unlike what they are able to do in the blog).

Comment on Legacy

I am concerned about how the movie-makers affected the family.
Even though it was not a 100% happy ending, the story went toward a good way and good direction.
A question comes up in my mind: if there was no one filming the story, the movie team never showed up,will the story be different?
I like the movie and it showed the digital divide and and many difficulties in low-level areas. However, it just seems to me that the movie was always heading the good ways and we know they will overcome the difficulties and survive.
I am guessing a lot of families experienced the similar condition and were not able to get a job and a house. Some of them do illegal stuff and drugs for their entire life.
This can be a direction for us to think about: there are more families that have lower income, lower accessbility to information, and more digital divide.


Legacy tells the story of a poor family who struggles with all types of adversity, one of these is being on the wrong side of the digital divide. An interesting point in an earlier post was brought up about government funding and taxes. The richest communities pay the highest amount of taxes (property and income) and therefore have the best access to technology resources. Im sure they have internet and computer training available to them at local libraries, they just dont really need it as much as a poorer community. It is clear that there needs to be changes in the way the government allocates resources to different communities, but that is an issue that goes far beyond the digital divide. The family in Legacy faced problems that were much larger than internet access. Bishop says that access to the internet provides a source to spread community information which could involve support groups. Access to this type of information may or may not have helped the family overcome problems like drug addiction.

LIS Video

Youtube Link:

Richard H.
John J.
Luke E.
Tom G.
Zixiao C.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Legacy was very connected to the three articles we read. In the video, we were presented with a family, who was clearly on the wrong side of the digital divide. They lacked many information resources, but more importantly, I don't feel like they would have known what to do with them had they had the physical access. This is where the grassroots organizations come into play. These are the organizations that are going to help bridge the digital divide because they work directly with the people in a smaller community setting. We could see in the video that certain processes like buying a house or getting a job were very difficult for the Collin's family. Through these smaller organizations however, I feel that these issues of skills access can be addressed. With the smaller organizations working with the people, they can clearly identify what the issue is in the community and how to change it. In addition, smaller organizations can talk with the people directly about what they want out of technology and what they can do with it. Often times, technology can seem too overwhelming to these people so they simply give up. If they understand how to use the technology, like for getting a job, they are more likely to continue to use it and learn more about how to access more information.

Legacy/ Bishop connection

The main point behind the Bishop article is that libraries need to partner with surrounding organizations and "local tailers" to more effectively serve their communities. As others on this blog have mentioned, the Legacy video is an excellent example of how important these grass roots organizations and individuals are in bridging the digital divide. What was the key to the Collin's family's escape from the projects? It was organizations like the drug rehabilitation program and the Catholic school, and individuals like Nicole's mentor that really made this family's accomplishments possible.

The Legacy video confirms the importance of and shows the unique role each local group plays in a community. A library can't do everything. There needs to be connections between libraries and organizations on all three "tiers" (Bishop 364).


I think that Legacy is connected to the three articles we read because it would have been helpful if there had been a community organizer that had gone around asking what people really needed and wanted. Also they all tended to get their information via word of mouth and people they trusted. It also would have been a good thing if the kids had had a program that would've taught them how to use the internet, etc. The adults would have benefitted from this too. However, because they don't really use the internet, there's not a whole lot to say about the government restrictions on internet use in libraries. Perhaps if there had been more government funding for a decent library, which the populations taxes certainly weren't going to pay for, they could have had more opportunity for usage in the first place. That's all I've got.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More video glory!!

Our Digital Divide Video

This is the link to the video! Enjoy all!

Legacy and Sandvig

     "Legacy" was a movie that focused on the basic survival of a family and overcoming adversity.  The Sandvig article focused on internet access and use among children.  The family in "Legacy" was definitely among the "have-nots" on the other side of the digital divide.  Buying a computer or having internet access and a decent bandwidth was the least of their concerns.         However, I think the family in "Legacy" would contradict the findings of the Sandvig article.  Sandvig suggested that children in the inner city mostly used the internet for gaming.  From "Legacy" I got the impression that Nicole did not have much access to computers or time to use them for gaming.  She worked in a community center where she may have had access to a computer, had a secondary job framing woodwork, school, and a tough family life.  I highly doubt that when she was using a computer she was "gaming".  She was highly focused on her studies and probably did not primarily use the computer for gaming or communicating with individuals as Sandvig's article set forth.  
         I found it interesting to take the movie and the article that are so different and try to find ways to compare and contrast their differences.  In this context Sanvig's emphasis on protecting children from pornographic material and researching what children did online was in my opinion a miniscule problem/study compared to the family within "Legacy".  I think it helps portray how bad being on the other side of the digital divide can be and how hard it can be to cross over in an extreme situation.  Even Nicole's mother attempted to amp up her computer skills but couldn't because of not having childcare.  Without a computer at home, it made it more of a struggle to improve her skills.  Daycare is a basic need and without covering the basic needs she couldn't even begin to think about her technological needs or uses.

The Legacy movie and the Bishop article

Legacy provided an excellent example of a family facing problems far more serious than lack of access to technologies. While better access may have helped them slightly in a few areas such as helping the mother seek employment, the grandmother to buy a house, and the daughter to finish school, the most serious chllanges faced by this family (Drug addiction, life in the projects and death) are issues far beyond the reach of technology. In the Bishop article, he states that underprivledged communities are able spread useful information to one another on a more grassroots levels through the use of community organizations such as churches and social groups when access to technology isn't readily available. In Legacy, the family was able to get the information and help they needed to overcome these issues plaugeing their family through their community, rather than through the internet. They found somone in the comminity to help get the sister into rehabilitaion, to help the grandmother get her new home, and to help the daughter get through school and into college.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Digital Divide- story of Muhammad Yunus with micro loan

Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, a Nobel Prize winner, created the most successful micro loan company in India.

News about him:

I would like to share a story about him.
One time, he saw a farmer doing very hard work to keep his farm in a good shape. The farmer has a wish, to get a computer, to check the weather so he can ensure his farm does not affect by bad weather and temperature.
The farmer went to Muhammad Yunus and asks for $100 loan for buying a computer. Muhammad Yunus gave him the loan and the farmer paid back $200 3 months later.

I think it is a good example to digital divide in poor area and they can get a lot out of the internet and some new technology.

Legacy – own a house

In the movie Legacy, grandma finally owns a house by saving money and loans.
Because of the bad economy, the housing market in America goes down to a relative low point in. I saw news about the rate of building new houses in America goes to a low point compare to past 17 years. It reminds me the story in Legacy that for some people it is so hard to own a house. And it is so valuable to actually own a house.
In the movie Legacy, grandma was very nervous to sign the contact for building the house and said “it was one of the best moments in my life.”
Today, under the financial crisis, those minorities might have more problems with living and more difficulties on getting a job. In the side of digital divide, less opportunities to approach internet might be a concern as well …!?

The Bridge Kit

The Bridge Kit video by: Jason Yarusso, Laura Szymanski, Coral Weigel, Nick White, Jake Sweitzer and Nick Wirsbinski

Monday, April 27, 2009

Legacy and Chatman

By inquiring more about Elfreda A. Chatman, of the School of Information and Library Science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; I discovered that social capital within black communities maybe permanently restricted because of cultural mistrust. During lecture, someone remarked how computer use was virtually nonexistent during the showing of the movie, Legacy. Does mistrust of white society translate into apathy or disrespect towards technology?

As Bishop et al wrote in Public Libraries and Networked Information Services, more library workstations, more neighborhood network connections, and personal posessions of computers must be accompanied by training. Only when familiarity with technology becomes equally transparent to all actors can America hope to survive in the global economy. As of 2009, Americans home computer use ranks 12th among industrial nations (just above a banana republic).

My initial thought was to find blame with government actors for not encouraging the use of computers for job search, housing, and education. Social service actors or educators did not suggest the advantage of utilizing Internet resources for personal and community growth to their clients. For instance, according to Google, in 2009, the Internet has over 1 trillion websites. A number of these websites most likely have dedicated topics that are of interest to the immediate concerns of the Legacy family. But not even the realtor encouaged her to use the internet for home purchases before she brought a home three years later.

After studying the reading ‘Understanding Digital Inequality’, I partially assumed that the stereotyped image, which presumes technology is too complicated for blacks, was the reason for the digital divide. Just maybe, officials did not feel professionally, socially or morally obligated to help bridge the racial ravine. This stereotypical fallacy made it easy for bureaucrats not to share practical and technical uses of the Internet. Then who is responsible for teaching how the Internet helps the population of low-income wage earners and struggling students stay abreast of on-line health care, on-line study groups, and news groups about parenting. Understanding Digital Inequality confirms a previous class reading. It provided statistics revealing how the small percentage of blacks who use the Internet use it for frivolous entertainment and religious propaganda. This theory of planned behavior (TPB) proves that without direct ICT experience of software and internet resources, poor individuals will not fully interact with information technology.

This theory challenges Internet activists who prove with this reading, and with the review of the Legacy movie, that bureaucratic actors ignore computer training opportunities to help motivate participants. Alas, the writers concur, government authorities should be the catalyst for initiating innovative ICT behavior. None of the organizations in the documentary had a systematic approach of entering the world of service workers (i.e. janitors), single mothers, and aging populations to increase computer capabilities among SED members.

Yes, Chatman is correct about the inclusiveness of underpaid, overworked, and underemployed community members. But I believe that self-efficacy is weakened from past and current disappointments with government entities. While illegal immigrants do not use the library for fear of government surveillance, American blacks have the same inhibitions about non-governmental agencies and government agencies sharing of private information. The secrecy and deception of government continues in the 21st century about 19th century entitlements. Only other race lied and cheated to is Native Americans. They and Japanese Americans have experienced first hand the nefarious intentions of U.S. government policies. The Supreme Court is again trying to weaken Civil War won laws about equal employment, fair housing, and quality education. Will this same court also conclude that the digital divide is a figment of a liberal’s imagination of deep-rooted barriers to information for the poor?

The reclusive blacks that voluntarily segregate themselves from the dominant society on the Internet is due to the institutionally accepted shameful hindrance of their racial identity and the psychological disabilities associated with SED. Their hedonistic use of the Internet is because software game manufacturers are committed to the profits from consumer satisfaction. Marketing and advertisements readily accompany on-line support and continued product upgrades. Unfortunately, government does not apply these materialistic values to teaching an informed citizenry about democratic opportunities available from the World Wide Web. And as we have learned about bridging social capital, the impoverished underprivileged will continue to live in a Tocqueville cocoon until they choose, with government guidance, to cross racial and class divisions by using the Internet.

In conclusion, I believe the heritable phenotypes of blacks could have been supplemented with an ethnic Internet environment incorporated from clothing styles, types of music, literature, and religion. The information world of poor people requires civic engagement and political participation in the 21st century. Legacy is empirical example of a culture that will die, unless it’s people have the courage to change.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Legacy and Bishop

From what I gathered from the class discussion on Bishop's article, the people in Legacy clearly did not need information technologies in order to succeed and "escape" from the projects. I do think it would have helped accelerate things, as we talked about in class, but the information was out there, just a little harder to find. As Bishops article said, communities are able to disperse vital information in various ways, including through the church or just by word of mouth. The main benefits of IT access would be more information at an accelerated rate. In the situation that the family from Legacy was in it might have been helpful to find a local library they could take advantage of for resources, but they were sort of tunnel vision focused on their bigger struggles to utilize that sort of access.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Policy Implications of Internet Connectivity in Public Libraries by P. Jaeger, J. Bertot, C. McClure, L. Lanaga

The Policy Implications of Internet Connectivity in Public Libraries
by P. Jaeger, J. Bertot, C. McClure, L. Lanaga
There are many reasons why libraries lack Internet access. What we have learned is that rural and urban America lack the equipment, software resources, and conduit to fully access the Internet.
Unfortunately, the same government officials who deny avenues of democracy to lower socio-economic classes are also promoting the perpetuation of the information ravine among farmers, field workers, service workers, small towns and urban villages. While visiting a friend in a small town in northern Wisconsin, my friend commented on how it was too expensive to wire the whole town, so only the library has broadband Internet access. Because of the libraries limited hours of operation, I had only a small window of time to visit the libraries reduced weekend hours. Once I had the password and logged on, I thought something was wrong with my laptop because of slow kbps speed. Between the libraries two hours of being open and my slow connection speed, I did not complete my research.
I had forgotten what a drag a slow connection does to personal inspiration and dedication to find online information. This is just one aspect of Jaeger’s article that details how reduced federal, state, and private donations limit Internet access to urban and rural America. Tremendous progress was originally made though federal grants, e-rate discounts and public /private support. But alas, the s-curve of access to television, telephone, and radio does not apply to internet accessibility for rural and urban America.
Four positions of denial are exhibited by these reductions. Federal authorities issued reports that denied that a digital divide existed, accepted the digital divide as typical in a capitalist society, spread the belief that inequalities between Internet users will be corrected by Moore’s law. Conservatives release dogma that believes the differentiation in the digital divide is shrinking because ICT is smaller, cheaper, faster, and better.
This diffusion theory did not work with either telegraph and telephone, or television. Besides, a television is a one-time purchase that will continue to receive the same electronic station signals for the life of the equipment. A computer changes software and hard drives every six months. For instance, access to new multi-media software for educational materials cannot be accomplished on older computers. Thus, poor actors are denied the latest information distributed with upgraded multi-media presentations. Most low-income actors cannot afford to update accessible resources every six months. The study findings readily concluded that libraries provide Internet connectivity for most Americans. Yet, as concluded in the reading, libraries lack the financial resources necessary for full digital access. Progressive educators blame reduced federal and private funding for broadband speed, workstations, and technical equipment for economic, racial, and education stratification.
These public policies increase the digital divide when combined with a lack of individual skills. Instrumental skills, informational skills and strategic skills provided by on site trainers help to encourage user participations for a technology that improves with change every 6 months. While digital inclusion counts everyone on line, it does not recognize the social stratification in technological accessibility. Economic imperialism under lassize faire capitalism traditionally limits information access to the underemployed and underpaid lower classes.
The funnel of causality, between age and gender, income and education, white collar, pink collar, and blue-collar workers are variables that help to deny resources to every American. As a result, American has unintentionally created a permanent underclass. Equal access to quality education, healthcare, and family wage jobs Some of these differences disappear, when a trainer is available for technical advice and informational guidance. Moreover, bandwidth connectivity also helps to define access to information in a democracy. If libraries are limited by geography and connectivity levels; if libraries are limited by the number of access workstations for clients; and if libraries have to police information, then they are not the place of universal access that e-government is trying to create under a Jeffersonian democracy of information access.
Federal and state governments are trying to encourage e-government interaction. But when urban residents have to wait in line and allowed only a few minutes of usage; and when rural residents have antiquated connection speeds and few workstations; all clients, rural and urban, have inadequate access to public information and Internet services. E-Government is expected to use library computers as voting booths. If Federal Elections Commission had regrets from counting Florida’s paper electoral votes, wait until you see the media circus from using computers to record vote.
The U.S. Patriot Act and the Children’s Internet Protection Act is nothing more then a bureaucratic cloak for ‘thought police’. Public library Internet services are restricted by outdated unreliable filters, according to Jaegar etc. These filters deny 26 percent of health related questions because the word ‘breast’ is in the request. How about not being able to access information about Star Trek, because the filter found a reference to Capt. Kirk being sexy looking. Or how about not being able to access Sponge Bob website because the word sponge is related to birth control. I have a list of 50 words that when used in a library computer browser, will deny you access to that site and record your name, date and time of search request. Can you find more?
Libraries are more then a ‘document delivery institution’; but government bureaucracy forces libraries to comply with government restrictions concerning questionable documents. These same restrictions force librarians to act as book police and to send Homeland Security the name and address of questionable patrons. This surveillance will impact the number of library Internet users. Government surveillance of underpaid overworked library patrons should not take place in a democracy. Statistics show upper and middle-income computer users, access the Internet at home and at work without government intervention. Triangulated research methodologies has proven that inequalities between rich and poor will continue to exist when government spends money on monitoring library computers; instead of using reduced public funds to spy on Americans, government should use funds to increase the power of citizens with computer upgrades, technical support, and number of workstations.
Without additional funding, libraries are destined to being excluded from the information revolution. Undereserved populations, who exclusively use this public service, will be critically absent from being part of the information society. Members of urban and rural communities will be unable to access online content, communicate with family and community members, and interact within a wide range of network-based services and government resources.

Other resources:

Suppression of Speech by the U.S. Government
by Lynn Sutton, Ass. Dean, Wayne State University

High court leans toward allowing library Net filtering
by Tony Mauro of First Amendment Center

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Legacy and Jaeger

After watching the movie Legacy and reading the Jaeger study, one thing jumped out at me. In the Jaeger article it states, "government attention has shifted from the digital divide to a focus on digital inclusions." This shift is from getting people online to "viewing current levels of access as an accomplishment". This move by the government is disturbing. We talked in class and discussion how the digital divide still exists today. But now, in class, we seen a real example of it. Nicole's family was deeply on the other side of the digital divide. They were hanging on by a thread and were in no way thinking about computers and the Internet. The government seems to have declared the digital divide all but over since its focus is now shifted to access as an accomplishment and not pursuing more users. This directly affects the programs and money which will be allocated by the government to the public. They will not be spending it on helping people, like Nicole's family, get on the right side of the digital divide. It will in fact, push them farther off into the distance. Now the argument comes up, would having a computer and Internet helped? I would have to say yes. Nicole's mom would have been able to show she is able to use technology (especially when majority of jobs use them today), maybe Wanda would have found more support (or sooner) for her drug addiction. It seemed all she need was a family that knew her situation. We Americans are proud of what we accomplished, seems the Government wants to do that same, and dismiss that we still have a prevalent problem.

Monday, April 20, 2009


In Legacy a central access barrier is material access since government-housing residents are unable to afford computers or internet access at home. The Electronic Discovery Center in the Sandvig article allows children to have increased exposure to computers and internet. As the article mentions, however, many taxpayers are not willing to fund such establishments because they facilitate play and not learning. But in a neighborhood like that of Legacy, play is productive relative to the alternatives such as drugs, fights and prostitution, which are commonplace there. It is also misleading to say that such facilities encourage play and not learning because the two cannot be separated. I personally have very good typing skills from many years of instant messaging and playing learn-to-type games, which I miss dearly. Sandvig’s article suggests that children do not actively seek obscene websites and can circumvent restrictions on such sites anyway if laws are enacted to prevent such exposure. In Legacy murder, sex, and drugs are common in the neighborhood and therefore internet protection seems like a secondary concern. If the government wants to protect children, it should focus first on solving crime in low-income neighborhoods. It seems the children in Legacy could benefit from a third place like the EDC, and that an EDC would deter them from harmful activities and create a “playful approach to learning” that they may not find at school.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reason of not updating computer- Endless Cycle

From the reading “The policy Implications of Internet Connectivity in Public Libraries” by P.T. Jaeger et al, it mentions that 13% of public libraries reported budget decreases, and 96.4% of public libraries have no set upgrade schedule internet access.
And then authors wrote some reasons of limiting upgrading: endless upgrade cycle, technological support and maintenance cost, and building & space limitations.

I thought the “endless upgrade cycle” is interesting and wroth for some discussion. Microsoft upgrades its operation system every 2~3 years and there are LOTs of new programs and software coming up. If I were a manager of a library, I wouldn’t know what to upgrade, because even if I upgrade computer now I will have to do it again very soon.
Right now in the libraries in the University they have pretty up-to-date programs like FireFox and Word2007, however, some local libraries might be still using Windows and word2003. I think it is just hard to judge if the libraries should spend the money now or wait for 1 more year when the newest programs come out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Digital Divide and e-Government Usage

I came across an article about the digital divide and its demographic correlation to e-Government use and found that people that are young, high income earners, educated, and people that already use the internet for other things are most likely to engage in e-Government use.  Surprisingly, ethnicity or computer experience were not predictors of e-Government usage. 
     I thought this article was interesting because it referenced the Pew Report that we have recently studied. It also provided insight to government agencies that encourage people to use e-Government websites inside of  other forms of communication, that they also need to make an attempt to close the digital divide.

below is a link to the article if anyone wants to check it out...

Monday, April 6, 2009


How does warschauer define access?
Warschauer defines access as devices, conduits and literacy. To use the example of the computer, ownership of the computer itself would be the device, the conduit would be an internet connection, as it facilitates use of the computer, and literacy, the technical ability to use the computer.
THe three industrial revolutions were
1. The first revolution came after the invention of the steam engine in the 1700's. DUring this 1st revolution were common hand tools were repalced by mechanical devices.
2. The second revolution was in the 1800's and marked the onset of factories ans massed produced goods and is tied to the use of electricty by humans. Many new jobs in factories and production lines.
3. The 3rdrevolution has occured in the late 1900's and is charicterized by the spread of information via use of computers and other media formats.
any new jobs in the information field

Remaining notes to study

Pew Internet Report:

This report found that African Americans and Hispanics are farther behind with regards to penetration, broadband use, and frequency of internet use. Minorities in general are willing to spend money on information goods and services, but purchase old media.

Robbins Lecture:

Ruth Brown, a librarian in Bartlesville, was falsely accused of being a communist because she provided resources to African Americans (1930s).

Emily Reed nearly lost her job because of that book about a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit (1959).

Also know the following terms: CORE, the US Patriot Act, Paul McCarthy, WPA

Review - Dijk's deffinition of Access/ Digital Skills

van Dijk, J. and Hacker, K. (2003). The digital divide as a complex and dynamic phenomenon. Information Society, 19:315-326.

  • How does van Dijk define access?
He claims that access has four parts:
Mental access - being interested in accessing the internet, not being anxious around the technology, finding it attractive (useful?)
Material access - the one focused on most commonly, having access to a computer and internet connection, the OLPC project would be a good example of repairing a deficit of this type
Skills access - having the knowledge and support to be able to actually use the internet
Usage access - having the opportunity to use the internet

  • What are the different types of digital skills?
He claims there are three types of digital skills
1. Instrumental - being able to use the computer and web browser
2. Informational - knowing how to search for the information you need
3. Strategic - being able to implement the information you receive to improve your society or living conditions

Themes of the Movies (exam 2 review)

Bridging the Digital Divide in the Spanish Speaking Community: This movie was put out by the Colorado library system. It was aimed at librarians trying to help them reach out to Spanish Speakers. It talked about having things, including books and signs, in Spanish as well as having staff members who are bilingual. It mentioned that the librarians should approach these patrons instead of assuming the patrons would come to them and should include small talk in their conversation not just business because conversation is important to this community. Also there needs to be areas where families can come and be together. There was also mention of transportation issues. They stressed the importance of both explaining how our library system works and being flexible in the requirements of identification for getting a library card since many immigrants would not have things like a driver's license.
Crossing the Divide: This was the film shown in discussion section about the four teenagers and new tech high. It mentioned how although technology is useful and maybe critical to advancement in the world it does not replace a bad curriculum and needs to be integrated into the curriculum not just present in the classroom. Also one point of interest was Luisa who had some technology but eventually "failed" due to her need to work too much during high school.
Afro@Digital: This was the movie that talked about how there are "two Africas" in that there are plenty of middle class people and areas in addition to the stark poverty that we are used to thinking of. These people can profit from additional technology and need to have connectivity. It also mentioned how the African's need to begin producing things for the new technology they are getting. Also there was that bit about the stick with the math on it and how it is possible that Africans developed some math before the rest of the World and were once at the top of the curve technologically and only later fell behind.
Legacy: This was the movie about the girl whose mother was stuck on welfare and whose cousin got killed before he had the chance to make it out of that bad neighborhood. Now all the pressure is on her to break the cycle of welfare. She does have a good role model in her boss, he is a father figure of the type her mother never had. She is going to private school on scholarships. We only saw the first part of this video.

What factors does Compaine suggest increase the adoption of computer and internet use?

On page 321 Compaine gives a list of factors that he thinks increase the adoption of computer and internet use including: rapidly declining costs and increasing power of the hardware, improving ease of use, increasing availability of points of presence (POPs) for local internet service providers, decreasing cost of internet access, and network externalities associated with email and chat.

How does Compaine describe access in this article?

Campaine describes access in terms of consumer capital cost, which includes equipment and its upkeep, and operating costs, with would be, for example, a subscription or connection fee.

Review-Define and understand Informationalism

Informationalism-is in the 3rd Industrial Revolution and it is an informational economy in which computers and the internet are the major components.  There are 4 characteristics of informationalism:1) the driving role of science and technology for economic growth
2) the shift from material production to informational processing
3)the emergence/expansion of new forms of networked industrial     organizations
4)the rise of socioeconomic growth

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Review: categories of workers

Warschauer redefines the old blue- and white-collar work categories as routine production workers (data processors, payroll clerks and factory workers), in-person service workers (janitors, hospital attendants, taxi drivers), and symbolic analysts (software engineers, management consultants, strategic planners). Although workers in all of these categories may use computers, the routine production workers and in-person service workers use computers for routine tasks, not analytically like symbolic analysts who deal more with interpretation and development of data and products. These categories do not divide workers strictly on manual labor verses desk job lines, but instead focus on the amount of skill and depth of technological experience the worker has.