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Digital Divide
Created in part with a Carnegie-Whitney grant from the American Library Association
http://www.ala.org/offices/publishing/sundry/alapubawrds/carnegiewhitney

 

Bridging the Digital Divide

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  • The Beehive.
    http://www.thebeehive.org
    • This site was launched in 2001 and is operated by One Economy, a global non-profit organization. The mission of the Beehive is to improve quality of life regardless of income and location by providing educational tools and services such as health care, jobs, education, and housing.

  • Broadband and Social Justice: Let's Act Now To Close The Digital Divide.
    http://broadbandandsocialjustice.org
    • A blog operated by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) provides information about diversity in ICT industries including universal broadband access, adoption, and use in multicultural groups.

  • D.C. Libraries Help Bridge Digital Divide.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/free-computer-classes-at-dc-libraries-help-bridge-digital-divide/2011/05/06/AFwRg2JG_story.html
    • Public libraries, including the Washington D.C. Public Library, offer free computer classes for minorities and low-income people who have no internet connection at home. The free computer classes are meant to help them gain computer skills, identify jobs, and to provide access to online information.

  • The Digital Divide Initiative.
    http://www.theddi.org
    • A website which presents trends, theories, frameworks, and policies about the digital divide around the world, and offers practices such as software applications to expand technologies to future generations.

  • F.C.C. Lifeline Program To Help Bridge Digital Divide, Chairman Julius Genachowski Says.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/fcc-lifeline-program-digital-divide-julius-genachowski_n_1194780.html
    • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reduced the cost of telephone service to low-income people through its Lifeline Project which discounts the costs of Internet services and digital devices in order to improve digital literacy.

  • Global Libraries: Opening a World of Information and Opportunities.
    http://www.gatesfoundation.org/libraries/Pages/global-libraries-projects-update.aspx
    • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports public libraries’ efforts to provide free access to computers and the Internet. The Global Libraries program also helps public libraries around world identify local needs and provides for librarians’ training and equipment. A few of the countries participating in the project are Latvia, Romania, Poland, and Vietnam.

  • Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership.
    http://httponline.org
    • The Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP) was launched in 1996 to lead telecommunications and technology policy issues for U.S. Hispanics. It is composed of nonprofit organizations discussing policies and issues regarding the digital divide and telecommunications.

  • How Cities Are Fighting to Close the Digital Divide.
    http://mashable.com/2011/04/20/close-digital-divide/
    • The digital divide is primarily connected to access issues. Internet access is related to equality, education, democracy, and the economy. Some city-based projects concerning the digital divide, include Chicago’s Digital Excellence Initiative, Smart Communities, and The Digital Divide Initiative Minneapolis.

  • In U.S., Smartphones Are Helping Minorities Leapfrog over the Digital Divide.
    http://techpresident.com/short-post/us-smartphones-are-helping-minorities-leapfrog-over-digital-divide
    • Smartphones are enabling a narrowing of the digital divide for minorities, according to a 2011 report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Smartphone usage among African Americans and Hispanics was higher than for non-Hispanic whites. Smartphone data plans cost less than for other devices, and minorities were actively using the Internet and e-mail with their smartphones.

  • InterConnection.org: Charitable Reuse, Responsible Recycling.
    http://www.interconnection.org
    • Interconnection is a non-profit organization established in 1999. Its mission includes computer donation, reuse, and education for low-income and underserved communities around the world. Over 35,000 computers and monitors have been delivered to non-profit organizations globally, and over 1200 people have been educated about computer hardware at its Seattle Computer Reuse Center.

  • Knight Foundation to Help Coordinate National Broadband Adoption Effort.
    http://knightfoundation.org/press-room/press-release/knight-foundation-help-coordinate-national-broadba/
    • The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a national effort to improve broadband adoption, digital literacy, and the Internet world to benefit people in the U.S. The Knight Foundation has worked with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to host conferences and to launch application contests.

  • “Legacy” Nonprofit Diminishing the Digital Divide. The Nonprofit Quarterly.
    http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19061:legacy-nonprofit-diminishing-the-digital-divide&catid=155:nonprofit-newswire&Itemid=986
    • Report on the YMCA Youth Institute in Long Beach, California which provided training for youth from underserved communities as a broadband adoption program. There were challenges such as limited access to high-speed broadband and misunderstandings about the program among some policymakers.

  • Minority Media and Telecommunications Council.
    http://mmtconline.org
    • The MMTC (Minority Media and Telecommunications Council) is a national non-profit organization. Its mission is to promote equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband, and to narrow the digital divide. This site provides annual reports, law and policy information about digital media, and conference proceedings.

  • Rural Broadband Summit at Broadband MEA Tackles Digital Divide.
    http://www.satellite-evolution.com/group/site/?p=6481
    • News reporting the Rural Broadband Summit 2012. Governments and industries are making an effort to bridge the digital divide in the Middle East and Africa by supporting broadband infrastructure and developing ICT policy, local content, and applications.

  • Stanford Takes Online Schooling To The Next Academic Level. NPR.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/01/23/145645472/stanford-takes-online-schooling-to-the-next-academic-level?ft=1
    • Professor, Sebastian Thrun, from the computer science department at Stanford University, allows anyone to access his classes online. Tens of thousands of people have participated in those classes, and the students can obtain a certificate by taking them. The professor’s colleagues believe that low-cost, high-quality, online education will have an impact on global online education in developing countries.

  • Texas Connects Coalition.
    http://txc2.org/
    • The Texas Connects Coalition (TXC2) is composed of two non-profit organizations, Austin Free-Net (AFN) and Technology For All (TFA). Its mission is to provide access to computers and broadband Internet to underserved people in Texas.

Digital Divide and Gender

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  • Digital Divide: Gender.
    http://www.slideshare.net/bcarriero/gender-digital-divide-202797
    • A slideshare file explaining the attitudes, perceptions, and use of technology by gender, which affects the digital divide.

  • Give Girls a Chance: Building a Bridge to Science and Technology.
    http://www.edutopia.org/building-bridge-science-and-technology
    • TechBridge is a program funded by the National Science Foundation to improve gender equity in science, engineering, and mathematics, especially for high school girl students. The goal of this program is to offer girls opportunities and experiences in technology.

  • MWomen Connect.
    http://www.mwomen.org/
    • An online community for sharing and discussing information about women’s mobile access in developing countries. This site includes various research reports, evaluations, toolkits, and related events.

  • What Stops Women Accessing the Mobile internet?
    http://www.mwomen.org/News/what-stops-women-accessing-the-mobile-internet
    • Women in low and middle-income countries have challenges to access the mobile Internet from their mobile feature phones. Although there has been a growth in accessing the mobile Internet in developing countries, these mobile feature phone users still have barriers to using information online.

Digital Divide in Social Media

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  • The New Digital Divide.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13641_3-10300583-44.html
    • Industry has used social media for marketing and communicating with their users and analyzed social media data to understand user trends, uncovering a new digital divide in marketing.

  • The New Digital Divide and Its Implications for Social Media and Social Change.
    http://www.allisonj.org/2011/02/17/digital-divide-social-media-social-change/
    • A blog post by Allison Jones about the new digital divide appearing in social media. Issues about the digital divide have moved from access to the Internet to how to consume information.

  • Social Media, information Technology and a Digital Divide.
    http://www.blenditbetter.com/blog/social-media-information-technology-and-a-digital-divide/
    • Social media have many users, for instance the number of users on Facebook has increased rapidly in a very short time. Business marketing strategies have changed in the use of social media to communicate with their users. However, there are still people without Internet access.

  • W&L Journalism Professor Sees Possible “Digital Divide” in Social Media Campaigns.
    http://www.wlu.edu/x37985.xml
    • The digital divide can exist in social media, according to a professor of journalism and mass communications at Washington and Lee University who discusses how information on social media such as Facebook and Twitter is posted and spreads. She indicated that information was not equally accessible to all.

Digital Divide with Mobiles

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  • Bridging the Digital Divide with Mobile Services. American Libraries Magazine.
    http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/columns/dispatches-field/bridging-digital-divide-mobile-services
    • Statistics from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and comScore show an increase in ownership of Internet accessible cellphones. Libraries are perfectly placed to provide content, especially of hyper local information, for this growth in mobile device use.

  • Crossing the Mobile Media Digital Divide via the “Bridge of Death.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/07/tech/mobile/amy-gahran-cell-phone-bridge/
    • Mobile phone users have fast Internet infrastructure such as 4G, LTE, and high-end smartphones, to enable them to have access to work information, education, public safety resources, health assistance, news, political engagement, and much more. However, smartphone ownership costs are still high for low income people, plus digital literacy affects optimal phone use.

  • In U.S., Smartphones Are Helping Minorities Leapfrog over the Digital Divide.
    http://techpresident.com/short-post/us-smartphones-are-helping-minorities-leapfrog-over-digital-divide
    • According to a report in 2011 by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, smartphone usage among African Americans and Hispanics was higher than that of non-Hispanic whites. Smartphone data plans cost less than those for other devices, and minorities were actively using the Internet and e-mail with their smartphones. Thus, smartphones enable a narrowing of the digital divide for minorities.

  • Infographic: What the New Digital Divide Looks Like.
    http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/12/a_new_digital_divide.html
    • Internet connections through home broadband and cellphones create unequal access to online content. Home broadband connections, primarily used by whites, provide access to almost all online information; cellphones, primarily used by Latinos, provide only limited access. Online data and access are controlled by government; also telecommunication companies which lobby the government.

  • Mobile Phones and America‘s Learning Divide.
    http://theyoungandthedigital.com/2011/05/27/mobile-phones-and-americas-learning-divide
    • There are several articles about mobile phones narrowing the digital divide. These devices enable low-income communities to access technology. When it comes to defining the digital divide by looking at participation, however, African Americans and Latinos still have limited access to social, recreational, and informational opportunities. Thus, it is important for low income people to be provided with opportunities to learn how to engage effectively with mobile media.

  • Mobile Phones, Digital Media, and America’s Learning Divide.
    http://dmlcentral.net/blog/s-craig-watkins/mobile-phones-digital-media-and-america%E2%80%99s-learning-divide
    • Having a mobile phone doesn’t close the digital divide. Digital literacy and richer learning environments are necessary for young people in order to narrow the divide.

  • What Stops Women Accessing the Mobile Internet?
    http://www.mwomen.org/News/what-stops-women-accessing-the-mobile-internet
    • Women in low and middle-income countries have challenges to access the mobile Internet from their mobile feature phones. Although there has been a growth in accessing the mobile Internet in developing countries, some mobile feature phone users still have barriers using information online.

Digital Literacy

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  • Center for Digital Literacy.
    http://digital-literacy.syr.edu/
    • This website provides lectures, research projects, and resources about digital literacy resulting from a collaboration between the Information Studies, Education, and Public Communication Schools at Syracuse university.

  • Closing Digital Divide, Expanding Digital Literacy.
    http://www.npr.org/2011/06/29/137499299/closing-digital-divide-expanding-digital-literacy
    • This is an NPR radio interview by the host, Tony Cox, with Craig Watkins, a sociologist studying the digital experiences of minorities in the U.S., on the quality of Internet use. The access to technology gap has narrowed, but what people do with the technology is still divided depending on users’ media literacy.

  • Could Free Resources Widen the Digital Divide? Education Week.
    http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2012/01/could_free_resources_widen_the.html
    • A video clip by a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education notes that social education and open access resources are considered to give benefits to disadvantaged students, however, in this student’s opinion, technological literacy is different among those of different income levels. He introduces useful online learning sites which try to increase digital equity. 

  • Digital Inclusion Network.
    http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/inclusion
    • The Digital Inclusion Network was launched in 1999 as part of “Participation 3.0” of E-Democracy and funded by the Ford Foundation. More than 350 members from many countries participate in this forum and communicate through e-mail. They share information about digital inclusion and strategies to narrow the digital divide.

  • Digital Literacy “Best Practices.”
    http://www.netliteracy.org/digital-literacy/
    • Cultures, infrastructures, and levels of digital literacy are different from country to country, but similar content is used in different contexts. To improve and disseminate useful practices about digital literacy, Net Literacy created this site and provides resources about best practices, including photos and videos.

  • Digital Literacy Is the Bedrock for Lifelong Learning.
    http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-divide-technology-internet-access-literacy-vanessa-vega
    • Online access infrastructure, such as computers and home broadband, is a fundamental element for improving the digital divide. However, technologies keep changing and new devices are replaced quickly. Thus, digital literacy is more important for narrowing the digital divide.

  • Digital Literacy Project.
    http://www.digiliteracy.org
    • This non-profit site, created by a student organization at Harvard College in 2008, provides computing programs worldwide, promotes digital literacy by supporting laptop-based class resources, and conducts research on the effects of the curricula they provide.

  • Digital Opportunity.
    http://www.digitalopportunity.org
    • The Digital Opportunity Channel, created by OneWorld South Asia, presents current trends in ICT for development. The content includes news, resources, and events about the digital divide. The site provides a forum for practitioners to share their programs, best practices, and opinions.

  • Digitalliteracy.gov. U.S. Department of Commerce.
    http://digitalliteracy.gov
    • A portal site supported by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shares digital literacy resources and services. Its content includes tools for educators, basics skills training for using mobile devices, job skills training, and opportunities for online communication and collaboration.

  • International Comparisons in Digital Literacy: What Can We Learn? Edutopia.
    http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-divide-literacy-resources-anne-obrien
    • According to a report on digital reading, navigation, and computer use in 2009 by PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong were identified as high performing countries and socioeconomic differences were related to digital reading performance. Digital reading literacy is not just about using simple skills to control webpages, but “understanding, using, reflecting on and engaging with written texts in order to achieve one's goals, develop one's knowledge and potential, and participate in society.”

  • Is the Digital Divide Still Talking About Access or Digital Literacy? Blackweb 2.0.
    http://www.blackweb20.com/2011/08/03/is-the-digital-divide-still-talking-about-access-or-digital-literacy/
    • The digital divide was defined as the gap between groups who did or didn’t have access to the Internet. African Americans were a group with limited access, however now they are using social media more than other racial groups. A current issue concerning the digital divide is how people are engaging effectively with technologies.

  • Literacy Portal.
    http://www.library.illinois.edu/diglit/
    • A website for digital literacy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This portal provides tutorials, videos, and podcasts on how to use library resources for both students and faculty.

  • My Thoughts on the New Digital Divide - How to Think About Search?
    http://musingsaboutlibrarianship.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-thoughts-on-new-digital-divide-how.html
    • The blogger, Aaron Tay, a senior librarian at the National University of Singapore, presents his opinion on the digital divide by looking at people’s searching behaviors. He classifies users by how they do searches online and what kinds of information sources they access.

Education

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  • As Some Schools Plunge into Technology, Poor Schools Are Left Behind. Hechinger Report.
    http://hechingerreport.org/content/as-some-schools-plunge-into-technology-poor-schools-are-left-behind_7463
    • Some schools do not have enough computers for their students to do homework. Other schools provide computer access to every student. The differences in technology spending among schools create a digital divide for students.

  • Could Free Resources Widen the Digital Divide? Education Week.
    http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2012/01/could_free_resources_widen_the.html
    • A video clip by a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education notes that social education and open access resources are considered to give benefits to disadvantaged students, however, in this student’s opinion, technological literacy is different among those of different income levels. He introduces useful online learning sites which try to increase digital equity. 

  • Ignore the Potential of Mobile Learning, Risk Widening the Digital Divide.
    http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/07/ignore-the-potential-of-mobile-learning-risk-widening-the-digital-divide/
    • Many poor households among African Americans and Hispanics use mobile phones rather than landlines, laptops, or desktops so that their digital lives are more connected to mobile devices. However, technology itself doesn’t close the digital divide in education. Adult support for learning experiences is needed for the young to narrow America’s learning divide.

  • In Digital Age, Schools That Succeed Are Schools That Connect: Technology, Not Test Scores, Will Point Students Toward the Future. The Baltimore Sun.
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-digital-students-20110712,0,5145271.story
    • Three problems in American schooling are: digital, access, and connectivity divides. To narrow these divides, schools need to not only provide Internet access to their students, but also to teach digital literacy including: technological skills, effective online communication, and creative use of technologies.

  • Mobile Phones and America‘s Learning Divide.
    http://theyoungandthedigital.com/2011/05/27/mobile-phones-and-americas-learning-divide
    • There are several articles about mobile phones narrowing the digital divide. These devices enable low-income communities to access technology. When it comes to defining the digital divide by looking at participation, however, African Americans and Latinos still have limited access to social, recreational, and informational opportunities. Thus, it is important for low income people to be provided with opportunities to learn how to engage effectively with mobile media.

  • Mobile Phones, Digital Media, and America’s Learning Divide.
    http://dmlcentral.net/blog/s-craig-watkins/mobile-phones-digital-media-and-america%E2%80%99s-learning-divide
    • Having a mobile phone doesn’t close the digital divide. Digital literacy and richer learning environments are necessary for young people in order to narrow the divide.

  • A New Understanding of the Digital Divide.
    http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-divide-technology-internet-access-mary-beth-hertz
    • This report is from the viewpoint of an urban teacher. The Internet access and technological device ownership gap among ethnic populations is not as serious as it was in the early 2000’s. In 2010, the problem was the kind of access, not access itself. People could access the Internet, but what they can do with their devices is different.

  • Poor Kids Experience “App Gap,” Says Study.
    http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2011/10/k-12/poor-kids-experience-app-gap-says-study/
    • According to a study by Common Sense Media, children from early childhood to age eight spend time with digital media, but there is an “app gap” between higher and lower income families. This discrepancy is connected to the use of educational content.

  • Stanford Takes Online Schooling To The Next Academic Level. NPR.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/01/23/145645472/stanford-takes-online-schooling-to-the-next-academic-level?ft=1
    •  Professor Sebastian Thrun, from the computer science department at Stanford University, allows anyone to access his classes online. Tens of thousands of people have participated in those classes, and the students can obtain a certificate by taking the online classes. The professor’s colleagues believe that low-cost, high-quality, online education will have an impact on global online education in developing countries.

General

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  • The Digital Divide Does Not Discriminate.
    http://librarianbyday.net/2010/06/24/the-digital-divide-does-not-discriminate/
    • A video clip recorded from the March 9, 2010 FCC Summit focuses on the importance of equal access to the Internet for all Americans and developing the skills to use it.

  • Digital Divide Institute.
    http://www.digitaldivide.org/
    • A website which presents trends, theories, frameworks, and policies about the digital divide around the world, and offers software applications to expand technologies to future generations.

  • Digital Divide Part 2: What Are Digital Citizens?
    http://www.edify.org/digital-divide-part-2-what-are-digital-citizens
    • A blog which explains digital citizenship, which is defined as the ability to participate and access online resources.

  • The Digital Divide: Resource Roundup. edutopia.
    http://www.edutopia.org/digital-divide-technology-access-resources
    • An Edutopia.org article presents resources about topics related to the digital divide including digital inclusion, digital literacy, blogs and the digital divide, and links to resources from other websites.

  • The Digital Divide: Where We Are. edutopia.
    http://www.edutopia.org/digital-divide-where-we-are-today
    • This is an article discussing the status of the U.S. digital divide in 2002. U.S. Census data showed that about 54% of the population was using the Internet, and growth was rapid across income, education, age, race, and gender. It was emphasized that providing Internet access to underserved communities would improve the quality of their lives and give them more educational opportunities.

  • Digital Divisions.
    http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2005/Digital-Divisions.aspx
    • A statistical report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project about the digital divide. In research from 2005, one in five American adults had never accessed the Internet.

  • Home Broadband Adoption 2008.
    http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2008/PIP_Broadband_2008.pdf
    • A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project presents information about home broadband adoption in 2008. Compared to 2007 data, adoption had increased 8% from 47% to 55%, however adoption among the poor and African Americans was much slower. Non-broadband users didn’t adopt home broadband because of availability, price, and lack of interest.

  • Home Broadband Adoption 2009.
    http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2009/Home-Broadband-Adoption-2009.pdf
    • A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project presents information about home broadband adoption in 2009. Adoption increased 8% from 55% in May, 2008 to 63% in April, 2009. Over this period, adoption of broadband by low-income Americans showed strong growth, about 10% from 25% to 35%. The reasons why non-broadband users didn’t adopt home broadband were perceptions about the Internet’s relevance, availability, usability, and price.

  • Infographic: the Digital Divide.
    http://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/trends-infographic-the-digital-divide/
    • A web page presenting statistical data about the digital divide in 2010 and 2011. It provides percentages of U.S. households’ Internet use, educators’ technology use, and school leaders’ plans to offer technology.

  • A “New” Digital Divide? Libraries Connect Communities.
    http://www.ors.ala.org/libconnect/2011/12/13/a-new-digital-divide/
    • The digital divide in 2012 is more significant than in the 1990s. The people marginalized by high-speed Internet have more difficulty accessing health, governmental, and recreational resources that are only available online, they cannot utilize the increasing number of e-text materials in K-12, and smartphones will not make up for the gaps. The U.S. government has done little to improve the situation, and public libraries are struggling to meet peoples’ Internet assistance and training needs.

  • A New Understanding of the Digital Divide.
    http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-divide-technology-internet-access-mary-beth-hertz
    • This report is from the viewpoint of an urban teacher. The Internet access and technological device ownership gap among ethnic populations is not as serious as it was in the early 2000’s. In 2010, the problem was the kind of access, not access itself. People could access the Internet, but what they can do with their devices is different.

  • The Social Impact of Technology.
    http://www.pewinternet.org/Static-Pages/Series/Social-impact-of-technology.aspx
    • A series about the social impact of technology by the Pew Internet & American Life project includes seven reports on differences in technology involvement by social groups, political participation by Internet users or non-users, social networks on the Internet, and mobile phones.

  • The Tools and the Hammer/Nail Problem in the Digital Divide.
    http://www.librarian.net/stax/3632/the-tools-and-the-hammernail-problem-in-the-digital-divide/
    • A blog post by Jessamyn West, who is a library technologist. The definition of the digital divide has changed as has the development of infrastructure and technology devices, so it is necessary to apply different strategies to close the divides.

Global Digital Divide

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  • Bridge The Digital Divide.
    http://www.bridgethedigitaldivide.com/
    • A BBC report in 1999 raised the issue of the digital divide between information haves and have-nots. Many poor people in the world don’t have Internet access. Additional links to case studies in countries are provided. 

  • Bridges.org.
    http://www.bridges.org/digital_divide
    • Various articles discussing information, communication, and technology issues in the developing world. Articles about the digital divide include definitions, technological gaps between developing and developed countries, efforts to narrow the gap, and case studies on ICT development. 

  • Bridging the Digital Divide.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1999/10/99/information_rich_information_poor/466651.stm
    • A website providing information about the digital divide around the world focuses on developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The purpose of this site is to bridge the digital divide between the developed and developing countries.

  • Digital Divide Institute.
    http://www.digitaldivide.org/
    • A website which presents trends, theories, frameworks, and policies about the digital divide around the world, and offers software applications to expand technologies to future generations.

  • News & Information on Science & Technology for Development.
    http://www.scidev.net/en/new-technologies/digital-divide/
    • This site includes news, opinions, analyses, policies, and related links about the digital divide in developing countries including those in Latin America, North Africa, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Rural Broadband Summit at Broadband MEA Tackles Digital Divide.
    http://www.satellite-evolution.com/group/site/?p=6481
    • News reporting the Rural Broadband Summit 2012. Governments and industries are making an effort to bridge the digital divide in the Middle East and Africa by supporting broadband infrastructure and developing ICT policy, local content, and applications.

  • Social Media, information Technology and a Digital Divide.
    http://www.blenditbetter.com/blog/social-media-information-technology-and-a-digital-divide/
    • Social media have many users, for instance the number of users on Facebook has increased rapidly in a very short time. Business marketing strategies have changed in the use of social media to communicate with their users. However, there are still people without Internet access.

High-Speed Broadband

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  • Broadband Adoption and Use in America: OBI Working Paper Series No. 1. FCC Omnibus Broadband Initiative (OBI).
    http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-296442A1.pdf
    • This is a report of a national survey of Americans by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in 2009 regarding the adoption of broadband at home, online behavior, alternative access to the Internet in different places and using other platforms, characteristics of non-adopters, and adoption issues facing some population groups such as low-income Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, the disabled, and rural Americans.

  • Civil and Human Rights Coalition Responds to FCC Announcement on Low-Income Broadband Access.
    http://www.civilrights.org/press/2011/fcc-announcement-on.html
    • The opinion of the CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights on the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)’s announcement of the Lifeline program, a program that addresses the problem of low-income people’s limited access to modern telecommunications because of cost.

  • Comcast Launches Low-Cost Internet for Low-Income Families.
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2390592,00.asp#fbid=8rSbo2XCD76
    • News about a new service plan for low-income families, by the Internet service provider Comcast. Comcast Vice President, David Cohen, expects the new service to improve students’ education, help with job applications, and provide access to healthcare and government information and services.

  • Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan.
    http://download.broadband.gov/plan/national-broadband-plan.pdf
    • A comprehensive report about the national broadband plan in the U.S. including the plan details, goals, budgets, and how to implement it. The project’s purpose is to provide affordable Internet access with 100 megabits speed to at least 100 million U.S. homes, fast and extensive wireless networks, 1 gigabit speed broadband services in schools, hospitals, and government buildings.

  • Crossing the Mobile Media Digital Divide via the “Bridge of Death.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/07/tech/mobile/amy-gahran-cell-phone-bridge/
    • Mobile phone users have fast Internet infrastructure such as 4G, LTE, and high-end smartphones, to enable them to have access to work information, education, public safety resources, health assistance, news, political engagement, and much more. However, smartphone ownership costs are still high for low income people, plus digital literacy affects optimal phone use.

  • The Digital Divide and the End of Internet Freedom.
    http://www.nytimes.com/external/gigaom/2011/07/18/18gigaom-the-digital-divide-and-the-end-of-internet-freedo-78169.html
    • An article in the New York Times states that the Internet separates what people are allowed to access and the cost of that access, which can widen the digital divide. It is necessary to develop broadband policies and technologies to help everyone have the same access and web experience.

  • Examining the Broadband Divide in D.C.
    http://wamu.org/news/11/07/07/examining_the_broadband_divide_in_dc.php
    • An interview by Matt McCleskey and John Dunbar, reporting a project examining broadband subscription in the D.C. area. The study shows that there are areas of quite low broadband adoption, usually low-income communities. The digital divide was discussed for information access, but now the new digital divide, Dunbar says, is about income. He also argues that smartphone usage has increased, however this cannot be a substitute for home Internet because some important work such as job applications and homework research are hard to accomplish with smartphones.

  • Infographic: What the New Digital Divide Looks Like.
    http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/12/a_new_digital_divide.html
    • Internet connections through home broadband and cellphones create unequal access to online content. Home broadband connections, primarily used by whites, provide access to almost all online information; cellphones, primarily used by Latinos, provide only limited access. Online data and access are controlled by government; also telecommunication companies which lobby the government.

  • Knight Foundation to Help Coordinate National Broadband Adoption Effort.
    http://knightfoundation.org/press-room/press-release/knight-foundation-help-coordinate-national-broadba/
    • The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a national effort to improve broadband adoption, digital literacy, and the Internet world to benefit people in the U.S. The Knight Foundation has worked with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to host conferences and to launch application contests.

  •  “Legacy” Nonprofit Diminishing the Digital Divide. The Nonprofit Quarterly.
    http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19061:legacy-nonprofit-diminishing-the-digital-divide&catid=155:nonprofit-newswire&Itemid=986
    • The YMCA Youth Institute in Long Beach, California provided training for youth from underserved communities as a broadband adoption program. There were challenges such as limited access to high-speed broadband and misunderstandings about the program among some policymakers.

  • Three Cheers for the Digital Divide? Twin Cities Daily Planet.
    http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/blog/ann-treacy/three-cheers-digital-divide
    • The article’s author, Ann Treacy, disagreed with an editorial by Thomas Friedman about America needing to invest in ultra-high speed broadband in university towns to create more high-value-added services and products. She presented three reasons.

  • Universities Start Effort to Extend Broadband to Local Communities.
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/universities-start-effort-to-extend-broadband-to-local-communities/32497
    • Twenty-nine universities including Duke University, Virginia Tech, and Arizona State University, have extended their high-speed networks to surrounding communities which have lower Internet connections. People in the community have benefited from this project and can access the Internet easily as well as create new work.

Minorities

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  • Closing Digital Divide, Expanding Digital Literacy.
    http://www.npr.org/2011/06/29/137499299/closing-digital-divide-expanding-digital-literacy
    • This is an NPR radio interview by the host, Tony Cox, with Craig Watkins, a sociologist studying the digital experiences of minorities in the U.S., on the quality of Internet use. The access to technology gap has narrowed, but what people do with the technology is still divided depending on users’ media literacy.

  • The Digital Divide.
    http://www.internetinnovation.org/library/digital-divide
    • The Internet Innovation Alliance introduces the digital divide as part of their research related to broadband. There are still many minorities who cannot access the Internet in the U.S. Broadband can improve their quality of life in employment, education, and health care.

  • Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership.
    http://httponline.org
    • The Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP) was launched in 1996 to lead telecommunications and technology policy issues for U.S. Hispanics. It is composed of nonprofit organizations who discuss policies and issues regarding the digital divide and telecommunications.

  • Ignore the Potential of Mobile Learning, Risk Widening the Digital Divide.
    http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/07/ignore-the-potential-of-mobile-learning-risk-widening-the-digital-divide/
    • Many poor households among African Americans and Hispanics use mobile phones rather than landlines, laptops, or desktops so that their digital lives are more connected to mobile devices. However, technology itself doesn’t close the digital divide in education. Adult support for learning experiences is needed for the young to narrow America’s learning divide.

  • Introduction to Web Accessibility.
    http://webaim.org/intro/
    • The WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) site was created by the Center for Persons with Disabilities and Utah State University to emphasize Web access for the disabled. This site offers a free web-based tool to evaluate the accessibility of web content, certification of accessible sites, consulting and technical assistance, and resources related to Web accessibility.

  • The Reality of the Digital Divide.
    http://booksnquilts.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/the-reality-of-the-digital-divide/
    • A blog post by Angela Critics about her experiences with current digital divide trends. There are still many people who cannot access the Internet at home, and their skills using search engines and software such as word-processing programs are limited.

  • To Bridge the Urban Digital Divide We Need a Better Infrastructure and New Thinking.
    http://navarrowwright.com/2012/01/to-bridge-the-urban-digital-divide-we-need-a-better-infrastructure-and-new-thinking
    • A blog post discussing plans of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to solve problems with the digital divide. There are many rural and low income urban areas that cannot access the Internet, and this is not easy to remedy because of the cost. The issue of digital literacy needs to be addressed by the government.

Public Libraries’ Roles

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  • D.C. Libraries Help Bridge Digital Divide.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/free-computer-classes-at-dc-libraries-help-bridge-digital-divide/2011/05/06/AFwRg2JG_story.html
    • Public libraries, including the Washington D.C. Public Library, offer free computer classes for minorities and low-income people who have no internet connection at home. The free computer classes are meant to help them gain computer skills, identify jobs, and to provide access to online information.

  • The Digital Divide Inside the Library.
    http://www.alatechsource.org/blog/2009/08/the-digital-divide-inside-the-library.html
    • A blog post by Kate Sheehan, a librarian, discussing whether library technical staff need to develop public service experiences. Knowledge and skills about technology is more important than ever, thus the staff’s roles need to be reconsidered.

  • Equity of Access and the Digital Divide.
    http://www.mdlib.org/divisions/ifap/manual/equityaccess.pdf
    • From the Maryland Library Association (MLA) intellectual freedom manual, a report of the American Library Association (ALA) and MLA efforts to narrow the digital divide. Both are committed to improving information access for people, especially in poor areas. They also provide services for the elderly, the disabled, and people who need special support.

  • Librarian Finds Digital Divide Has Changed His Job.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/jerrylarge/2015848443_jdl08.html
    • Dennis Carlisle, who is a librarian at the Rainier Beach branch of the Seattle Public Library, talked about librarians’ roles in narrowing the digital divide. Libraries now provide many resources and reference services online. However, there are still many people who come to libraries to access the Internet and get information. For those people, libraries provide free computer use and training on how to use computers.

  • Library Locator - Find a Library Near You.
    http://ipl.org/div/liblocator
    • A website providing a list of library catalogs and the physical locations of public libraries through the ipl (Internet Public Library). Sometimes ipl patrons need to go to libraries near them to see materials and licensed resources.

  • Narrowing the Digital Divide - One Library at a Time.
    http://www.85broads.com/public/blogs/colette-ellis/articles/narrowing-the-digital-divide-one-library-at-a-time
    • A librarian shared her experience and thoughts after participating in the Turning the Page project which is part of the U.S. Libraries Initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project will provide training for staff members from libraries in various countries such as Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, etc., to improve their leadership and communication skills.

  • Public Funding & Technology Access Study.
    http://www.ala.org/research/initiatives/plftas
    • Introducing a study of technology access in public libraries funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Library Association. This study evaluated computer access and Internet related services in U.S. public libraries, which can help library managers benchmark IT resources and develop policies.

  • Why the Digital Divide Is a Library Issue.
    http://www.librarian.net/stax/2099/why-the-digital-divide-is-a-library-issue/
    • A blog post by Jessamyn West, who is a library technologist. More people can access broadband and public libraries provide computers and networks. However, there are still a few points we need to consider: libraries do not have enough computers, library staff are not available to help all patrons on how to use computers, there are the issues of technophobia and technostress, and many libraries provide the public with a filtered version of broadband.

Technological Device Gap

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Additional Resources

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