Saturday, February 28, 2009
Equally disturbing is a high school with no music, arts, or sports. This seems very Brave New World to me. Were these kids learning about history? Would they even know about the warnings of 1984? I agree with the woman who said that schools shouldn’t be “training grounds.” If schools train their students to think well, then they should be able to learn these computer skills quickly in the workforce if they need them. It is important to be well rounded. When Travis went to get a job, he even said it was hard because there are 10,000 other people who can do the same job. But if he had had some extra or special skill, that would have been an asset.
I also thought Travis’s friends were interesting. They had a content problem (from the 4C’s) because as Travis said they just weren’t interested in computers, not even in chat-rooms or email. This is odd to me since from personal experience I have seen these kind of personal interactions are what draw people to the internet. Perhaps the problem here is that they don’t have anyone on the other end. For example, I have had an email address since I was seven, and I would regularly email family members, but if these kids don’t have family or friends who are connected to the internet than it has no appeal. But someone has to initiate this kind of online social capital. Someone has to get an email address first. Maybe Travis was the first step and will eventually inspire them to learn to use computers.
Someone in the movie also mentioned that technology was a new civil rights movement. This is an interesting perspective since it seems to have alienated minorities more than empower them. The important point here though is that it has the potential to empower these groups if CTC’s are available and they take advantage of their access to information and improved communication abilities.
Friday, February 27, 2009
As for why some are more successful than others in the job market, I don't have much original insight, but effort is obviously important. For example, Kep, unlike Travis, never used a computer before high school. Travis procrastinated in his final project, while Kep graduated with honors.
Kep was the immigrant who faced several challenges when he moved to America. He was trying to learn English and had never worked on a computer before he went to technical school. Kep embraced these new challenges and became passionate about his English class as well as computers. Kep had access to great connectivity and had the capability coupled with the desire to learn. Through school, he learned about how the content and competition of the computer industry created his urge for cutting edge innovation and context. He thrived in this environment receiving a full ride scholarship for college.
Luisa left her "bonding" gang member role, found her love for computers, and began technical school as well. She came from a low income household and worked full-time while attending school. She was apart of the "racial ravine" by not owning a computer (at first). She fell behind in school because she was working so much and lost a potential job opportunity by not being able to master PhotoShop 4. This is a perfect example of the digital divide and how low income communities can put forth effort, but have trouble crossing over the divide.
Some good starting points would be to compare and contrast the differing stories. We witnessed four different stories--those of Luisa, Cedra, Travis, and Kep. How do issues that we've been discussing in class relate to their stories? How can we think about their narratives in terms of racial ravines, 4Cs, or social capital? What sorts of differences allow some of them to do well but not others?
I'd also like everyone to reply to one of the responses. In particular, I'd like you to respond to a classmate that noticed something you hadn't. Was there any reason you didn't notice that particular point? Do you think about labor and race differently now because of that post?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
· Define “gentrification.” How did this come into play with the Near North Branch, Cabrini Green and the Gold Coast?
gentrification is the (according to dictionary.com)
|the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses|
this came into play when dealing with Cabrini Green and the Gold Coast because eventually the Gold Coast began expanding into Cabrini with the renovation of buildings and shops (aka gentrification). A lot of the low income housing units were torn down, the liquor store was replaced by a park, and many of the older residents were displaced because they could not afford the increased cost of living. While it did clean up the neighborhood and make it overall safer, the problem with gentrification is alienates some of the oldest residents that have been living in that area.
Monday, February 23, 2009
"...social capital has both an individual and a collective aspect- a private face and a public face. First, individuals form connections that benefit our own interests". Page 20
"...'networking,' for most of us get our jobs because of whom we know, not what we know- that is, our social capital, not our human capital". Page 20
Social Capital= whom we know.
"however, social capital also can have 'externalities' that affect the wider community, so that not all the costs and benefits of social connections accrue to the person making the contact". Page 20
"... positive consequences of social capital- mutual support, cooperation, trust, institutional effectiveness- can be maximized and the negative manifestations- sectarianism, ethnocentrism, corruption- minimized". Page 22
"The forms of our social capital- the ways in which we connect with friends and neighbors and strangers- are varied". Page 27
-Quotes are from Bowling Alone
The Community Analysis Research Institute (CARI) model of research was formulated by Greer and Hale and its purpose is to collect, organize and analyze data about communities beginning with the question "What do we want to know?" This process then procedes until the questions are answered, formally and deliberately. The four perspectives include characteristics of individuals, the formal and informal groups they form, the agencies which serve and interact with them and community lifestyles. Historical research, statistical analysis, personal interviews and structured observation are all research techniques employed to collect this data. (pg. 11-"Community Analysis")
The racial ravine is a term from the first page of the article Social Capital and Cyberpower in the African-American Community. It is from a quote from the US Department of Commerce which said "'The digital divide has turnedinto a "racial ravine" when one looks at access among households of different races and ethnic origins.'" (Alkalimat, Williams, 177)
The digital divide is the gap between information communication technology (ICTs) haves and have nots. The Department of Commerce was getting at the fact that race is a strong determining factor in which side of the divide you fall on, seeing as it is linked to many other characteristics that could affect such an outcome including income, education, and location.
Now describe the “white cathedral.”
- (p.32) The white cathedral was another library that Hall begs her mother to to take her to. She notices the staff is multiracial. They spoke in quiet voices (in a library of course), and seemed to like children. Her mother and her needed to "cross the tracks" in order to get to this library. She claims the white cathedral almost taunted the yellow place saying "there's something inferior about those people who live over there". She goes once with her mother, and they never return again. Even when she grew up, able to go on her own, she did not go.
"While this simplified picture of public library use and collection of library use statistics worked well when books were the primary medium of information transfer and communities were more homogeneous, this approach is not effective today as it ignores information that could be key in making critical decisions about today's public libraries." pg.29 People use libraries for a variety of media in addition to books. Some of this uses do not involve checking anything out from the library. "Research indicates that public libraries are vital in diminishing the information gap between the technical elite and the technical poor. Given the demographicsof this century's potential new library users, it is critical that public library decision makers have data that enable them to measure performance and use, and assess needs, in vulnerable and diverse neighborhoods." pg. 30 Computer use has become an important service offered by public libraries for people of low income who do not have computer access at home.
"The common practice of aggregating public library use statistics can mask particular usage patterns and unmet needs of minority of low-income neighborhoods." pg.31 Minority populations frequently do not have the same access to technology and subsequently have fewer computer and internet skills. This means that internet access is an important feature of the public library that is not recorded by circulation statistics.
Give an example of both bridging and bonding social capital. Which one is inclusive and external, and which, exclusive and internal? Which one is “glue” and which one is “WD-40”?
- An easy example of bridging social capital, and a subject we briefly discussed in discussion, could be something such as the Civil Rights Movement. Because the Civil Rights Movement attempted to unite people of all races, not just African Americans, it "bridged" the gap between whites and blacks. Bridging capital is designed to help more than just an individual or a small group, but rather a wide range of differing populations.
- An example of bonding social capital could be a church youth group who meets once a week. They work together to broaden the religious scopes of one another. The group is more close-knit, and individuals converse with one another to share religious views and perspectives. If this group decides to go to a soup kitchen for the homeless, it becomes bridging social capital as well.
- Bonding is inclusive and external, while bridging social capital is exclusive and internal.
- Bonding acts as the glue, by creating stronger relationships within the group, they may also create stronger out-groups. Bridging social capital is the WD-40, which makes out-groups and society run a bit smoother.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
How did researchers define neighborhoods?
GIS stands for Geographical Information System. It's the type of software used in this study to collect information about library service areas. The way it works is that information is collected about a specific area and recorded in the software by location. This makes it easier for researchers to break up their data into physical areas and also to locate physical divides within a community. It also allowed the researchers to analyze different service areas individually. Another purpose of the GIS software was to allow representation of the spatial access to a library. As noted in the study, "The smaller the size of a library service area, the more accessable the library branch would be to the residents in the area and vice versa."
The notions of space in the study were very important because they directly affected access to the library (see quote above).
Finally, the researchers defined a "neighborhood" as an individual local library service area.
**All of this information can be found on pages 451-452 of "The Library Quarterly" from the second week's reading.
America has placed a high value on individualism. Putnam notes that individualism has been celebrated by famous authors (Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman), and suggests that its importance has been overemphasized through historical figures (Paul Revere). This overvaluing of individualism decreases bridging social capitol: ". . .[[disposing] each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends . . . [leaving] the greater society to look after itself" (24).
Friday, February 20, 2009
One barrier to access to the white cathedral was that it was across town "on the other side of the tracks." It was difficult for Hall to get transportation there because her mother did not have the time to take her across town, and she was too young to go by herself using public transportation. There was also a class barrier because the white cathedral was located in a wealthy neighborhood. After visiting the white cathedral, Hall became very angry. She was confused that the yellow palace and the white cathedral could have the same lending system, when they were so obviously different. Also, she saw the other inequalities between the two libraries in respect to space, hours, furniture, and the librarians. This changed her view of the yellow palace because it showed how inferior and unappealing it was.
The yellow palace was Hall's local library. It was located downtown surrounded by the police station and the neighborhood jail. All points of entry were covered by anti-theft bars. There were only two small reading areas inside- one for adults, and one for children. It was called the yellow palace because the inside was painted a yellowish color, that seemed to change in different sunlights. Even though it was no haven, Hall loved the yellow palace, as did the rest of the community.
In the '50s and '60s, Americans had more time to spend on recreational activities, and they weren't spending as much time in work or school, but they were very involved in church and other activities. A 1958 study of the Center for the Study of Leisure said that "the most dangerous threat hanging over the American society is the threat of leisure." The problem with leisure is that Americans really don't know how to take life easy. In the '60s everyone ran out and joined a club to keep themselves busy. So, sure they were improving the country and the community with their work ethic, but what's going to happen when people want to spend their leisure time actually relaxing? They stop joining clubs and groups to keep themselves occupied. Which is exactly what did happen. Not only that, but times have changed politically and socially as well. In the '60s there was the Equal Rights movement, and while things still had a long way to go, people were fighting for the rights of not only African-Americans and women, but also LGBT groups were active, (although I'm not sure if they were called LGBT groups at the time...) While not everyone has yet to receive truly equal rights, most of the hard work of getting publicity for these causes has already been done, and most people don't have something to fight for, even if it's for something trivial like better roads, or they just don't care about anything, and so they also don't have that sense of civic duty in general. The article wasn't very specific about leisure, so some this is my own extrapolation.
A study guide will be distributed later this week, and your online blogging assignment this week is to choose one part of it and answer a question for your peers. As others fulfill this assignment, try to choose something someone else hasn't answered. The test preparation will be much more effective if it covers a broader set of questions.
Cite page numbers, too! Part of good scholarship is allowing others to check your work. Be kind, and be as specific as you can about how and where you are getting your answers.
To keep this all organized, please respond in the comments to this post.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
According to Putnam in Bowling Alone (pg 22) bonding will “reinforce exclusive identities and homogeneous groups,” while bridging will “encompass people across diverse social cleavages.” He gives the example of “church-based women’s reading groups” as an example of bonding social capital because it brings together people of the same gender, faith and interest. An example for bridging social capital that he gives is the civil rights movement, which has united people of different religions, financial and educational backgrounds and even races to work for a common cause. Bonding is exclusive and internal and is “superglue” because it connects already similar people. Conversely, bridging is inclusive and external and is “WD-40” because it unites people from different backgrounds.
Information Divides and Differences in a Multicultural Society
Associate Professor E. Whitmire
Teaching Assistant: Nathan Johnson
MIDTERM: Week Five Readings;
Alkalimat, A., & Williams, Kate (2001). “Social capital and cyberpower in the African American community: A case study of a community technology centre in the dual city.”
• The authors suggest that the digital divide may be anti-democratic. Why do you think this is so?
• I guess you are asking me if this article was written under the presidium of Huey Newton or William Ayers. Throughout the reading the writers talk about the injustice distributed to the poor. On page 204, they conclude by writing how democracy is necessary for citizen involvement. As Jefferson proclaimed, an informed citizenry is the backbone of a democratic system. Citizens use information to make decisions and to confront obstacles to equality and justice.
• What do the authors mean by the term “racial ravine”?
The digital divide is segregationist philosophy at its worst. Inner city black people are isolated from the technical, educational, informational advances of white society. Computer related skills will advance underemployed and underpaid black people with job skills, learning software, community awareness, and personal confidence. On page 177, the writers discuss the polarization of American society between the haves and the have nots. They add that the ‘racial ravine’ is a valley where people of colour find it impossible to climb the walls of empowerment in order to earn social capital.
• What is “public computing”? What is a “Community Technology Center (CTC)”? Define.
What a lovely place ‘public computing’ implies for a community without computers at home, school, or work. On page 178, the writers state that low income communities should be given free public access to computers and the internet. Opportunities to garner computer use skills and computer resources should be provided at places like the ‘Community Technology Centres’. Social spheres for computer access is traditionally at places of work, computer coffee houses, and copy shops. A CTC is a generic name given to a place where computers are open to the public. The authors hope that CTC’s located in poor communities will enhance social capital.
• 1960s-1980s: Rise of a Black middle class, but also increasing growth of an impoverished class. Urban poverty, in particular, causes disengagement and social exclusion.
On page 180, the writers state that the exodus of the black middle class from urban communities left a social and economic vacuum that enabled its members to depend on economic and social peers to help advance the agenda of the community. As the author implies, the black middle class climbed one rung up the ladder of economic and social empowerment, could not climb higher and because they had been released from Aristotle’s ‘cave’ they could not go back down the ladder because there is no room at the bottom. Traditionally the black middle class was a welcome part of the community. Recently, the black middle class has been called traitors to their black heritage by black extremists. The disengagement or voluntary segregation has left the poor black community without social, human, and material capital. I believe Alkalimat believes, that another disruptive social process is necessary to advance the generational second-class status of black America (p. 179). This missing social buffer has helped to create a permanent underclass.
• The authors invoke Castells’ “dual city”? What is it? Briefly identify.
• Castell’s definition of a dual city (p. 181) implies that there are two distinct worlds that exist side by side in the city. These worlds differ economically, socially, education, and housing. The part of the city that is disconnected usually consists of the disenfranchised. low paid over worker residents. I like his phase ‘black information holes of informational capital’ in describing deepening divide between ‘social structures and power relationships’.
• What is “cyberpower”? Define its three forms: individual, social, and ideological.
• cyberpower: interacting online activity is internet power, that empowers the user(s) (p.183)
• Individual cyberpower: gaining computer skills and social connections for one’s self
• social cyberpower: a social environment that complements individual goals. Technology in the community (computers, fax machines, cell phones, MP3 and etc.) is another advocate for continuing the struggle for information freedom. I think I also understand how a learning environment and staff behavior affect the environmental and teaching barriers of clients. I like how the Community Math Academy made use of the internet and educational software to improve and increase productive correspondence between participants and school administrators.
• ideological cyberpower: information technology is the major ingredient for a successful revolution. Marginalized or/and socially segregated groups can actively pursue dialog within the community that results in a common goal that benefits all concerned.
• How do CTCs/computing and Internet access create, enable or enhance “cyberpower”? Take examples from the cases given in the text.
• The three examples of organized resistance the writers used were excellent. The fight for human survival, community activism, and organized rebellion showed how social capital obtained from the Internet can counter the misinformation of corporate media. I was back in Seattle visiting my son, and could not believe the power cell phones and text messaging had in assisting organized opposition. The police expected rabble-rousers and were not prepared for controlled defensive strategies. While the web was used to advocate certain actions and to coordinate defense, it was cell phones that empowered the demonstrators (p. 185).
• What partnerships (a.k.a. bridging and bonding social capital) were established between the Murchison Center and other groups or community stakeholders?
While I am not receptive of the religious propaganda used to promote the agenda, it is obvious that this bridging social capital helped to organize the participants into a cohesive unit.
stage one: the church and the centre: drug prevention program established. programmes, such as job counseling, computer training, and counseling were included. This bridging social capital increased positive relations between black parishioners and black drug addicts. But as the writers say on page 201, if Cyberchurch spiritual awareness enforces the personal, cultural, and political lives of black people from cyberspace interactions, then I cannot condemn this association. But I concur with the writers that bridging social capital does nothing more but regurgitate familiar themes that reinforce your possibly ignorant beliefs.
stage two; the state and the centre: This bonding of social capital increased city officials awareness of stage one’s success in the community. Reciprocity between the church’s volunteer, Mrs. Henderson, and government bureaucracy (CDBG) helped the state associate a familiar trusting artifact with the center. This constant dialog helped the state to understand the needs of the community and what specific resources were needed to address those needs. Still, the formal requirements established by government reminded me of how banana republics have to follow the detection of the IMF in order to get funding. Time constraints do not work where grant and business proposal knowledge is limited. Government should be familiar with these obstacles and provide a liaison to help complete the application process before the due date. Unlike middle and upper class communities, neighborhood residents do process the bonding social capital to help bridge the community’s needs. .
stage three: the university and the centre: I believe when the organization spilt into two separate entities, it became a third stage. The changing ideological landscape forced the separation of church and state. But the addition of University of Toledo and King School created a cyber community whose power reached beyond the neighborhood.
The following is an article detailing a personal history of lacking high-speed internet in rural America. The speaker says third world countries have better internet connections then Americans. what we also have to remember is how cable companies are trying to create a two tier system of internet access. as students and educators our resources may be severely limited because of limited financial resources. These organizations are effectively organized to provide the black community with world empowerment.
The discussion of Social capital arises from the article we read from the book Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam. On page 19 he defines social capital as "connections among individual's social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them" In a nutshell, social capitalis the social gains obtained by an individual who is a member of a community. In class, we discussed the idea of a neighborhood which is rich in social capital. In a case like these, members of the community frequesty engage in communication with one another, and may share simular belifes and goals. The bennifit the obtain by doing so is to be "amongst friends" if you will, in that the members of their community are more likly to look out for the indivduals should the need arise.
Bonding social capital: On page 23, Putnam describes bonding social capital like a superglue which is also exclusive. Bonding social capital is bringing people together. Usually these people have the same interests and are very much alike. He gives an example of the Knights of Columbus. They "...bonding along religious and gender lines." Other examples are: church based womens reading groups, country clubs and ethnic fraternal organizations (pg. 22).
Bridging social capital: As for bridging, Putnam similates it to WD-40. Makes the community work better togather (like WD-40 is used in car engines). There is less friction then. These are bringing groups togather. Perhaps they had a conflict in a matter and by bridging them, they can resolve this. Why the WD-40 analogy works well. He also used the Knights of Columbus as an example. He said, "...created to bridge cleavages among different ethnic communities..." (page 23). This bridging social capital is inclusive. Other examples include: civil rights movement, religious organizations and many youth service groups (pg. 22).
Monday, February 16, 2009
I would have to agree with the article. At a very early age (1st or 2nd grade) our school pushed the use of the Internet to do research. I was from a small, relatively wealthy, mostly white town. We always had the latest programs and computers, and there was scheduled time in the computer lab each week. This exposure could be part of reason for my academic success. Children in less wealthy schools are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to utilizing technology for education.
Here is the link to the article itself:
Friday, February 13, 2009
The fact that I found most interesting is that all of the National health care plans did not cover the new procedures. This will lead to an increased visibility of classes in the health care industry. If this Korean system does not work out, it could possibly be used as a learning mechanism for other countries in the future.
The article is here http://heapol.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/8/4/385?ck=nck
the link to this article is http://news.indiainfo.com/2006/09/26/2609global-technology-inequalities.html. All in all I would say it was pretty insightful and highlighted the information inequality of the world pretty well.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The article states that the conversion from analog to digital is another example of the digital divide and another example of the "haves and the have-nots." The conversion will be a good thing for most people. It will allow for a better television signal and according to the article, "allow more space on the airwaves for public safety communications." The problem is that many low-income people will no longer have access to television- TV that they've probably had for their whole lives, or if not, a very long time. Is it fair to suddenly take away their access to television information just to better everyone else's TV service? This article argues no. According to this article about 21 million households still rely on analog television, and most of these households are racial minorities. Almost 13% of African American and 13% of Hispanic people are not yet ready for the transition. These people rely on their televisions. Not just for entertainment, but for the news, public service announcements, severe weather warnings and educational television programs for their children. It simply isn't right to take away these people's rights to information through the television.
This issue seems to be a very important one, especially at this time, since the conversion is less than a week away. I understand that TV is a privilege; however, I have a huge problem with taking away someones access to a source of information that they still deserve. The fact is that this is a digital divide issue, because, sure people can BUY the converter boxes, but when the choice is between TV and a babysitter so that someone can go to work, the choice will be made to sacrifice access to television.
here is the link to the article: http://www.inglewoodtoday.com/opinions/publishers-message/1638-tv-conversion-the-new-digital-divide.html
The article also said that teens are not the only ones who are dependent on their cell phones. Adults too appear to use their cell phones to do things like business calls as well as socialization. Cell phone users are able to call ahead when they are running late. Most cell phone users had a difficult time during the period of a study when they had to give up their phones for a few days. It seems that having a cell phone has become an important part of many people's lives. It is a primary form of communication and connection to other people.
Using Public Libraries to Provide Technology Access for Individuals in Poverty: A Nationwide Analysis of Library Market Areas Using a Geographic Information System reports that library internet access and transportation access to libraries in low income areas increases the economic vitality of a community. Libraries as third places provide telecommunications where Internet access is becoming an increasingly important information source for American society for personal correspondence via e-mail, up-to-the-minute news, online shopping, information search and retrieval, and product information.
While this same study agrees with Prof. Whitmires findings about the rural and urban poor as well as rural and central city minorities. It did not dawn on me that rural/urban young poor households, and female-headed poor households were among the low income groups to be “least connected” because of work/home time constraints in underpaid/low-skilled jobs with transportation access barriers to and from the library. I cite this statistic because these citizens are the most vulnerable members of society (National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1998).
I did my study on New York City libraries vs. Town of Woodstock libraries. I remember the Woodstock library as a quaint place out of a Faulkner novel. However, research shows that another library formed to serve the upper class citizens of new housing in the area. The New Woodstock Library, while in the same service area, is separate from the Town of Woodstock library. a WDST radio announcer told me over the phone that the new library was a semi-public environment that commandeered funds from the historical library whose residents ‘lived on the wrong side of the tracks.’ Online statistics reveal it is a small library serving less then 900 people with a ¾ staff member.
Anyway, these are the stats for New York City Library vs. Town of Woodstock Library.
Woodstock, New York:
2000 Census: Population; 6,241 people, 2,946 households, and 1,626 families. The poulation density is 92.5 people per square mile. There are 3,847 housing units in an average density of 57.0sq/mi. The racial makeup of the town is 94.25 percent white, 1.30 perecent black, 0.21 percent native american, 1.57 percent asian, and 0.02 percent pacific islander. Hispanics are 2.56 perecent of the population.
The average household income is $49,217. About 10.2 percent of the population live below the poverty line in 2000. City-data.com reports that 11.4 percent of residents lived below the poverty line in 2007. The majority of poor residents are white female headed households according to their survey. Thirty-seven percent of these households are the working poor. The poverty rate for high school graduates is 16 percent compared to 85.2 percent poverty rate for high school dropouts.
Woodstock Public Library District:
the district has only one library which serves 6,241 members in its service area. the library has 9 public internet terminals and one for the librarian. The number of people using the computers in 2005 was 12,792 according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services. I could not determine their broadband type. the library has a total staff of 5.69 with 1.75 being accredited librarians. The total expenditures totals $433,280. Most of that comes from local taxes. The library has a book and serial volume collection of 53,400.
The library had a total of 165,299 visits in 2005. Total circulation for the year was 72,028 with 26,705 reference transactions. Circulation of children’s materials totaled 14,124 with 3,444 children attending events. Average hours open was 41.5 per week. 151,056 visits to the library were made in 2005
New York Public Library:
While New York State averages 9 terminals per library, New York City averages 26 terminals per library. Population of the legal service area is 3,313,573 people.
4,925,870 requested the use of computers in 2005. Average hours open is 37 hours a week. 15,181,566 visits were made to the library in 2005.
New York City has a high degree of income disparity. In 2005 the median household income in the wealthiest census tract was $188,697, while in the poorest it was $9,320. Almost 21.2 percent of residents live in poverty. According to the most recent U.S. Census data, in 2006 there were a total of 3.3 million low-income New Yorkers – a number greater than the population of Chicago – totaling 42 percent of the city's population living at or below the poverty level.
New York has 87 branch libraries serving a legal service area population of 3,313,573 people. White persons make up 44.7% of the population. Black persons make up 26.6% of the population. American Indian and Alaska Native persons make up 0.5%, and
Asian persons 9.8 percent. Hispanics or and Latinos comprise almost 27 percent of the city’s population.
The system has over 20 million books and serial volumes. Almost 14 million visits were made to the library in 2005. The system has 3.6 million types of children’s materials while 246,166 children attended library activities.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
This article talked about a study that was conducted in UK in regarding to the connection between technology availability and early childhood education. The article said that they didn't find any significant connection which indicated that technology will lead to better early childhood education and better test scores but did claim that technology provides an essential tool for the children.
My reaction to this article is quite mixed. I have a love- hate relationship with my technology. I love the fact that i can access the world all while sitting comfortably in my dorm But i detest how much i rely on my computer and the internet. I'm pretty sure that if i was separated from the internet/computer i'd suffer symptoms similar to that of a crack addict and cocaine. So therefore, my beliefs agree with the study's conclusion in that introducing computers to early childhood education won't significantly improve their education. It will help them become more tech-savvy in the growing technology dependant soceity but the good come with the bad and
they might grow dependant on it.
However a number of other points in the article disappointed me. "... also suggests an indirect influence of ICT on pupils learning, not through direct links with learning in each subject, but via improved self esteem, engagement and desire to learn." I feel like this is saying that we are teaching kids to want to learn because they get to do stuff on the computer rather than learning for learning sake. Back in my 3rd grade elemtary class we would get math quizes and those that finish the quiz early got to mess around on the computer while the rest of the class finished up. Every single time, there will be a person that just rushes through the quiz just so they can have computer time and not spend actual time thinking through the problems and learning from them.
I guess overall, I disagree with the article's promotion of computers and ICT in schools because introducing computers in childhood education - to me - is just providing another unnecessary stimuli to the already overstimulated youth. And the argument that disadvantaged kids do not have access to computers is invalid because litterally everyone has a computer or can gain access to a computer on a regular basis.
The article I found was from the Palm Beach Post. The article talked about the transition to digital in the West Palm area of Florida. They, like us in Madison, are among the most prepared areas for the switch, with only 3% of households not owning converter boxes. That might seem great, but that's approximately 22,000 households that would lose service on the newly extended switch over date of June 12.
The article went on to say that the people in that 3% were mostly the ones who would be hurt by the transition: the elderly and people in rural communities.
The article then took a broader look at the conversion. Approximately 6 million households still need to buy the $40 converter boxes before the switch. The government has already outspent its $1.34 billion budget for converter box coupons, leaving people waiting in line. That clearly was a major factor in the delay.
The other side of the issue is that the broadcast companies are pushing to switch over before the new deadline. Keeping both an analogue and digital signal running is extremely expensive, and that is added to the over $500,000 cost of installing an all new digital line.
The final issue the article discussed was that those who bought the converter boxes still found themselves spending more money. They needed new, difficult to install antenna in order to receive the digital signals, because the old rabbit ears were not strong enough to get the signal. Many people in the West Palm community found themselves with static or blank channels, among an array of other problems.
All in all the digital conversion is creating a large digital divide, not just for those without a converter box, but also for those without the technical know how to set up their new antenna or the funds to buy one.
The full article can be found here.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Here's the link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/949795/Mobile-Phones-and-Income-Inequality
This article discusses the effect of technology improving schools and education, as well as reducing social inequities. The research project involving this idea looked at what characteristics improved schools and how technology aided that. It also looked at how technology reduced inequities between pupils and they performance, as well as how technology aided those students with learning disadvantages.
Their findings were that technology does not necessarily lead to school improvement or helping close the gap between the disadvantaged students and the rest of the student body. But they found that technology definitely is essential for facilitating change, improving effectiveness/functioning, and helps to track student progress. Technology helped disadvantaged students by offering a more independent learning environment. The visual and interactive aspects of technology also raised motivation. However, there was not a direct link between technology and improving learning, but it did help motivate students to learn and raised self-esteem.
I thought this article related to our discussion because the use of technology/computers/internet in libraries has definitely made libraries more useful and helpful to the public. I felt that the same would be true for schools--since both are open, helpful, learning environments. I was surprised by the findings of this study. I felt for sure that there would be a positive correlation between technology in schools and improving schools, especially for disadvataged students.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
This article explores the effect English-speaking ability has on US immigrants' computer and internet usage. Although overall internet usage has increased, the gap in computer access between immigrants and natives has actually widened from 1997-2003. The authors of this article use data from the Current Population Survey and the 2000 US Census to suggest that English-speaking ability plays a significant role in strengthening this gap.
What I like about this article is that it takes into account more than just a person's physical access to a computer. Yes, most Americans have computer access through the public libraries, but not everyone is proficient in English and not everyone has the basic technical skills needed to use a computer.
The article I found is a couple of years old, but the basic principle is still there. Texting while driving is dangerous. And to fit it into an inequity, I think it goes with health and lifestyle. Your health is affected if you do get into an accident and your lifestyle is in "danger" with people like this on the road. Text messaging is the start though. Now its Blackberry's and the email, web and GPS devices now all playing a role at distracting the driver. And people thought radio and cd's were bad. Its not just young people either contributing to the problem. A quote from my article, "...53-year-old male driver checking his e-mail caused a five-car pileup on Interstate 5 outside Seattle..." Literally, young and old are prone to these hand held devices. It even has its own acronym of - DWT - Driving While Texting. Washington State is the first in the nation to actually have a ticket for it. A $101 fine is expensive price for a little text message. That brings up all sorts of questions, how will they inforce this? Because its a inequity of the cell phone users' lifestyle. Its very interesting to think about, since the size of the problem is enormous.