Technology plays a major role in our way of life.
Unfortunately, not everyone in Australia has the same access to or is equally comfortable using technology. This has resulted in a digital divide.
The divide is not only defined by the access to the internet but by the access to Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). (The Digital Divide, ICT and Broadband Internet, 2016). The reasons can range from not having connection to the internet, not being able to afford to purchase technology or even just avoiding unnecessary technology.
his can cause difficulty’s for students when they go into the work place or further study.
Many people in today’s society are digitally fluent and therefore assume that students coming out of schools will have the same skills.
In her book, Teaching with ICT, Jennifer Howell states that;
“The wider community expect the education system to produce technologically fluent students who can use a wide variety of digital technologies.” (Howell, 2013)
Schools now implement internet based learning. This can be challenging for teachers who have limited experience with technology, which in turn can compromise the effectiveness of these programs.
While we are moving towards a society with everything online, organisations and schools still need to make provision for people who can’t use technology. To be inclusive of everyone, the 2016 census was not only online but it was available to be sent as a paper copy. This meant that everyone could fill it out in the way they felt most comfortable. Newsletters in some schools are also available online as well as on paper.
According to the bureau of statistics, 14 percent of Australians don’t have access to the internet. (Households With Internet Access at Home, 2016) This is due to a number of reasons from affordability to there not being any coverage.
Many efforts have been made to bridge this gap through the use of satellite technology, with Google playing a large part in bringing the internet to poor countries. (Worstall, 2013).
Unfortunately, the digital divide is constantly growing as new technology is being designed and invented. While this is true, technology is being made more easily accessible to everyone. I am looking forward to the day when everyone has access to the digital world.
Ewing, S. (2016). Australia’s digital divide is narrowing, but getting deeper. Retrieved from The Convosation: http://theconversation.com/australias-digital-divide-is-narrowing-but-getting-deeper-55232
Households With Internet Access at Home. (2016, 02 18). Retrieved from Australian Bureau of Statistics: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8146.0
Howell, J. (2013). Teaching With ICT.
The Digital Divide, ICT and Broadband Internet. (2016). Retrieved from Internet World Stats: http://www.internetworldstats.com/links10.htm
Thomas, Barraket, Ewing, & MacDonald. (2016). Retrieved from Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide: The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2016: https://digitalinclusionindex.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Australian-Digital-Inclusion-Index-2016.pdf
Worstall, T. (2013). Google’s Excellent Plan To Bring Wireless Internet To Developing Countries. Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/05/25/googles-excellent-plan-to-bring-wireless-internet-to-developing-countries/#dedcc374fa5c