Tuesday, October 23, 2012

digital divide vs participation gap- conner lipinski

Digital Divide VS. Participation Gap

“Digital Divide or Participation Gap? Will Mobile affect it?” written by Kevin Guidry
The article, “Digital Divide or Participation Gap? Will Mobile affect it?” written by Kevin Guidry from Indiana University was very informative. Kevin explains how the concepts of digital design and participation gap are affected by one’s finances. The richer the person, the more opportunity they have to use technology. People who do not have a lot of money cannot afford technology like iPhones and computers.
Digital divide…
Digital divide is commonly known as the inequality of groups in terms of access to technology. Guidry explains that digital divide still exists in America today, while many families do not own a computer or have Internet access. America’s populace ranges from extremely rich, to extremely poor, causing this divide.

Participation Gap…
The participation gap is the idea of having the access to the technology, but not using it because they do not have the skills.  The participation gap relates back to the digital divide. Many people do not use technology because they do not have the technology skills or just are not confortable with it. These people do not have the skills because they have never used technology before, probably because they were not raised in a home that could afford the technology.

Does the digital divide still exist in the United States today?
The digital divide still exists in the US today. Technology has rapidly grown in recent years in the US. Devices such as smart phones, laptops, and TV’s are becoming more popular everyday. While this is happening, there is still a digital divide. While some people have an iPhone, ipad, and a computer, others do not even have a cell phone. Many of the people who do not have cell phones or other sources of technology are unemployed and cannot afford it.  Digital divide is also shown in college. The Data Service reported in 2007, nearly one third of college students did not own their own laptop.

Digital divide occurs in certain areas of the country.
The digital divide is most common in urban and rural areas. Some urban and very rural areas are not wealthy, so these people cannot afford the technology that wealthier people can.

Does the participation gap still exist in the United States today?
Personally, I do not think the participation gap still exists today. The iPhone, the most popular phone in the US was designed to be extremely user friendly. This being true, everyone can easily learn how to use the phone no matter what their technology background.

How will the digital divide look in 3-5 years?
In the next 3-5 years I see mobile devices decreasing the digital divide. I believe smart phones will become more popular, eventually taking over computers.  Smart phones are portable, and more accessible, plus they do virtually everything a computer can do. This is very appealing to the people of our country. Technology will expand to the rural areas and become more affordable to the people of the urban areas, decreasing the digital divide. 

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