Wednesday, May 13, 2009

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.

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