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.


Nick said...

1) This article was about how people can benefit from using technology and specifically, CTC's. It stated that current statistics were misleading. These statistics show how many people have access, but it doesn't not give information on people's personal relationship with technology. Access maybe there, but are the people using it? A study did show that less fortunate people used a computer/Internet for more entertainment purpose. One way to curb the problem was by targeting these students.

One way to help with technology literacy was by using CTC's. The CTC's are key to help under privilege children to receive some of the benefits of technology. One thing the CTC does accomplish is face-to-face communication. The Internet is not at all a face-to-face medium. But the CTC is. People can be with others who are just like them. They can realize they are not alone in this digital divide. And the youth are the focus. This will train our future generations in "maintaining global economic competitiveness".

The second part of the article looks at cities and 8 areas of interest. The areas are: policy makers, CTC, primary/secondary school, post-secondary education, philanthropic organizations, libraries and community-building organizations.

Policy Makers: This section explained that these policy makers must help close the digital divide. They need to create and expand programs to achieve this. But also the public needs to get involved by helping with steady funding for the programs. So it’s up to both parties to work it out. This will make it that much more successful.
CTCs: The article states that CTCs are limited by scale and sustainability. For this problem, they need to team up with other areas in the community. Like schools and libraries. Once local, they will be successful as a gathering place and training the future.
Primary and Secondary Schools: It says this is the most direct way to have children gain experience with technology. This will only prepare them for the years to come. But the schools also have a problem; they will need greater support, equipment and training to pull it off.
Post-Secondary Schools: College isn't just going to a 4-year university. It can also be at a community college. This can be a vital role of just being in the community. Their location is key. Now local business can help out by supporting programs in hoping these people will in turn get jobs and help their companies in the future.
Philanthropic Organizations: Foundations have been great at getting attention for problems around us. But they shift their priorities too quickly and move topic to topic. But they do help in limited ways this way.
Libraries: As we learned, this can be key. Community based center, a third place, and a place for information. And they are leaders in the community to help achieve this digital divide problem.
Community-Building Organizations: This CBO and CTC partnership is important. CTCs benefit CBO's connection to the community and now CBO's can use the new technology. This is a reason why they can work together and offer programs to help people out.

jasonyarusso said...

2)The Community Technology Movement: The trend toward trying to provide technology access publicly within communities.
The Information Society: The society we live in where many job require information processing and much of our economy and social life is based on information processing.
Technology-Literate Society: a society where people know how to use technology in its many forms and can communicate information with it. People are literate when they can do this.
"Digital Exile": people who have no access to technology and are completely excluded from its uses.
"Power Users": People who use technology to its full potential. There is a continuum between "Digital Exile" and "Power Users"
Low-Order tasks: like word processing. these tasks do not fully connect the person the information society.
Higher-order tasks: Like analyzing information. These tasks fully connect to the information society and allow the person full access.
Grassroots Programs: programs that start at the small community level, specifically to build up technology access in this article.
"Tech-Fix": the myth that technology will fix the inequalities that exist in society by leveling everyone.
Community Technology Centers (CTC's): Places in the community that provide public access to technology and internet. These are very useful in the quest to get everyone connected and relate to the community technology movement.
Community Based Organizations (CBO's): These are organizations that already exist to help the community in other things that can be used to help provide technology access, especially if they have a location to house a CTC and if they use technology to further their other goals.
Bridging Social Capital: connections between people of different social groups that allow for a benefit to everyone from the networking potential and information sharing. This can be created through technology since technology does not require face-to-face interactions and people often do not regularly encounter people from other social groups for face-to-face interactions.
Physical Space: The opposite of on-line space this is the real world of interactions as opposed to the cyber world of interactions that is virtual. This is where face-to-face interactions occur.
Digital Divide: The idea that the is an inequality between social groups in how much access they have to technology and the internet.
Information Technologies (IT): Technologies that allow information sharing.
IT sector: the sector of society, including employment that relies on It's.

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