This week on UOSM2008, we covered the Digital Divide. I attempted to explore this as a concept and look at my own experiences.
This was enlightening but differently to how I thought. Instead of finding that there were certain ways in which I had been limited by my circumstances, I instead found myself to be very lucky in terms of the access and support I had regarding digital technology. By looking at established academic frameworks, I could place myself in the more “elite” group of users of the web. This was very eye-opening, and I raised the point towards the end of my blog that we should be careful just “charging forward with innovation” and instead think of those who have been left behind. This was commented on by Natasha, who noted that it might be in human nature to press forward. This led me to think and suggest that my original statement was too strong, and rather than limiting innovation more reflection was needed – how apt in this post! An interesting discussion ensued, and it linked nicely to Natasha’s post, which I enjoyed reading.
I enjoyed reading many posts from the cohort this week, especially ones highlighting new ideas. In Tom’s post, he took a slightly different approach, examining the role of physical disability in the digital divide. I questioned whether it was software that was not helping this divide, however, and instead questioned the socio-economic dimension. I felt Dom’s blog provided an excellent overview of the Digital Divide and his own circumstances. It, therefore, seemed natural to further explore what I hinted at in my post; how to overcome the Digital Divide. I raised a G20 report with Dom, and we discussed it, concluding it was slightly idealistic, as we had realised that this topic is slightly more complex and nuanced than at first glance.