September 9, 2015 at 4:57 pm #1750Jennifer CottonParticipant
The NBN will close the digital divide in Australia.
It has been suggested the NBN will close the digital divide in Australia. I disagree with this this statement because it implies the sole cause of the divide is lack of access to technology. The truth is, many factors contribute to the divide and the divide can impact various groups of people. This essay will detail why reducing the digital divide is not as simple as connecting everyone up to the NBN.
Simply increasing the access to a computer or technology to people will not decrease the digital divide. For example, if a person were to receive a copper boiler, would they know how to use it?
A Copper boil. Source: http://images.powerhousemuseum.com/images/zoomify/TLF_mediums/5643.jpg
One way to close the divide is to increase a person’s computer and internet skills or strengthen their digital literacy. People on high incomes to the disabled can have digital literacy issues. Even children are at risk of becoming digitally illiterate. It has been suggested people could attend computer classes or programmes at their local library. Unfortunately, this may not completely solve the problem.
In a recent Twitter chat, aspiring librarians could not define what it means to be digitally literate. If there is no definition, then there is no standard and no grade to say ‘Yes, this person is digitally literate.’ For example, if my grandmother were to attend a computer programme in her retirement home, when would she be considered to be digitally literate?
If the definition of what it means to be digitally literature cannot be determined, how can it be determined who needs help and to what extent? Should the average person know to use Google or should they know how to programme? How can educational programmes be established to reduce the divide if we can’t define the divide is?
No doubt anyone who has suggested their grandparents get a computer or a mobile phone heard retorts such as ‘I don’t want to learn how to use it!’ or ‘I’m too old for this!’
As we get older, are attention span decreases and our memory isn’t as good. Although it is harder for the elderly to learn to use new technology, it is not impossible. Many elderly people don’t see the need for a computer. My grandmother still uses a toaster from the 1950s, even though we gave her a new one. Like her toaster, my grandmother doesn’t see why she should have to learn a new technology when her way is working just fine. These reasons could be why many elderly people don’t want to become digitally literate. Having access to the NBN just like a new toaster.
- This topic was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by Jennifer Cotton. Reason: adding hyperlink to Twitter chat
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