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.

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