The Digital Divide

Smart-DevicesIn modern society it is becoming more and more common for younger and younger children to own smart devices. But in the bring your own device society that we currently live in, there are inequalities that some might face. The digital divide is the gap that desperately needs to be bridged between the people who do have access to digital technologies and the internet and those that don’t. Socioeconomic status and geographic location play a major role in access to technologies and the internet(Howell, 2012).

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Bridging the divide requires every man, women and child to be on an equal playing field with access to technology, digital fluency and digital expectations(howell,2012), whether its giving people computer or opening computer rooms for the public to use freely and training on how to navigate them properly, in America $100 million is being put towards building community technology centers in low-income areas and $10 million to train Native Americans for technical careers(Steele-Carlin, 2000). There are many philanthropic organisations all over the world like “close the gap” and “network for good” who both fix second-hand devices and donate them to people who do not have access to technology. There are also government schemes in Australia, like the Digital education Revolution, being used to bridge the gap for teachers as well as students in terms of training and how to incorporate technology into the classroom (DEAG, 2013).

Although there are people who are that are taking steps to bridge the divide the argument could be made that these steps aren’t monetarily viable solutions on larger scales(Steele-Carlin, 2000), for example the “one laptop per child” program. Giving a digital device that costs ten dollars to one hundred thousand people would cost one million dollars, consider now how many people there are in Australia, not to mention how many people in any 3rd world country without access to technology or a digital device. The solution not only has to include students but has to also include the elderly parents, teachers or even people are just losing work because of their lack of technological knowledge. There is such a large portion of people from different demographics that are victims of the digital divide that perhaps multiple solutions are needed to provide equality in education.

Below is a picture called a wordle, this web based program allows you to group words of your choosing into any shape size and colour. I found this program to be a fun and colourful way of adding information to a project, I used this wordle in my Infograph that is posted above.

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References

  • Howell, J, 2012, Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity
  • Education Department, 2013, Digital Education Advisory Group (DEAG) Final Report, retrieved from https://education.gov.au/technology-schools?resource
  • Steele-Carlin S,2000, Caught in the Digital Divide retrieved from  http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech041.shtml#sthash.VKYtZiq0.dpuf

Photos

  • http://www.milbay.com.au/Home/webdev 2014
  • World Recources Sim Centre, (2012)Close the Digital Divide[image], retrieved from http://www.wrsc.org/attach_image/close-digital-divide
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Teaching in a digital world

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When we consider our digital selves, our digital identities, we do not consider what comes back to us when we play on our digital playground. One click on the wrong web page or even just opening the wrong email can riddle our devices with viruses or allow people to access our personal information. When we think about our digital selves we need to also consider how we will be perceived by others. Actively thinking out the perceptions of others could be one way of maintaining a safe and positive digital identity. After all what ever is uploaded by us or about us becomes attached permanently like digital baggage.

Unfortunately as digital scammers, and identity theft are becoming more common we must forever strive to protect our digital environment, making sure we are practicing safe habits everyday when we are doing the simplest tasks online(Howell, 2012), for instance, using PayPal or pre paid credit cards instead of our debit cards when shopping online. The biggest cardinal rule of safe internet usage is not to give out your personal information(Howell, 2012), meaning don’t share intimate details of your life with people online, don’t link all you accounts together and even use different email address (Keep Safe Online, 2014).

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Cyber bullying is the issue that’s had the most impact on me when analysing all the aspects of digital safety, consider that 95% of teenagers use social media sites like Facebook, then there are 64% of adolescence that are consistently bullied and report being harassed on Facebook(Cyber Bullying Facts).Then there are opportunities to bully through text and email, even Instagram, with 1 out of 10 teens have had photos posted with out permission that could be considered damaging (Cyber Bullying Facts). Child line is one of the many charitable organisations that provide over the phone, or online counselling for children, their statistics for bulling have almost doubled over the last 2 years, for instance, It saw 4,507 cases of cyberbullying in 2012-13, up from 2,410 in 2011-12(Sellgren, 2014).

In Australia every state/terrioty has their own laws for cyber cyber bullying, national law states cyber bullying can be a crime when it involves Using the internet or a phone in a threatening, harassing or offensive ways, stalking, accessing internet accounts without permission defamation and encouraging suicide. These crimes could result in 2-5 years in prison depending on the crime and severity of the incident(Cyber Bullying, 2013).

Over the past week my own naivety in keeping a positive digital identity and being safe online has come to light. Issues such as cyber bullying have been brought to my attention and I feel that I can no longer adopt a “this wont happen to me” attitude, furthermore when using simple digital devices in classrooms what measures and I going to have to take as a teacher to prevent any issues like the ones explored today.

Getting Help

If you have been bullied or witnessed others been bullied and need help contact:

Kids Help Line (1800 55 1800) is a free and confidential, telephone counseling service for 5 to 25 year olds in Australia. http://www.kidshelp.com.au

Lifeline (13 11 14) is a free and confidential service staffed by trained telephone counsellors. http://www.lifeline.org.au

The Australian Human Rights Commission (1300 656 419) has a complaint handling service that may investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying
http://www.humanrights.gov.au/complaints_information/index.html

References

Photos

  • Kaycolvilleblog (2014) Teaching in a Digital World [image] retrieved from http://kaycolvilleblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/cropped-blog-header.jpg
  • What is cyber bullying (2014) cyber bullying [image] http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/whatiscyberbullying.jpg