Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Information Age †Broadening the Gap between the Have’s and the Have Not’s :: Exploratory Essays Research Papers

The Information Age – Broadening the Gap between the Have’s and the Have Not’s The rise of computer technology and the internet has had drastic impacts on how society now functions; it has become a major force in almost every aspect of society, from business, to entertainment, to education. The digital divide’s impact on education has completely changed the way students conduct their work, which has opened doors of knowledge for students that were once never considered possible, making the computer and internet an essential (and often the most important) tool for any student. But the rise of the availability of the computer and the internet has not been equally spread across the population, drastically disadvantaging some section, while giving other portions a somewhat unfair advantage. This is what is known as the digital divide, which is heavily present throughout North America , putting certain demographics at a disadvantage, while favouring others. The digital divide is formally defined as â€Å"the gap in Internet and computer usage between [the] rich and poor; anglos and minorities† (Straubhaar & LaRose, 5). This term became popular in the mid 1990’s, the same time as computers and the internet began to enter into mainstream society (Digital, 2004). The main minorities that are affected by the digital divide in North America are visible ethnic minorities, low-income families, the disabled, and the elderly. One of the main principles of the digital divide focuses on the every widening gap that is becoming more and more present across North America in the access and availability to computers and the internet. The reason why it is important to be aware of this gap is because the computer and the internet have become such an essential piece of what is now considered to be a ‘everyday’ technology. In developed countries, such as Canada and the United States ( North America ) computers and the internet have grown to become an almost essential technology. More and more jobs now require some sort of computer related knowledge or skills, especially in the professional field. Minorities are already under-represented in professional jobs, and the digital divide will help to continue that trend. If a certain minority group has little access to and knowledge of computers and the internet, they will be less likely to embrace it, and more likely to fear the technology, pushing them further down the ladder of ‘upward mobility’.

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