The Digital Divide – What is that anyway?

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In 2012 – 2013, eighty three percent of households in Australia had access to the internet (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014). This begs an interesting question: what of the other seventeen percent? As one lucky enough to come from at the very least average socioeconomic circumstances, it is extremely easy to forget that technological advancement is not a benefit that is available or acceptable to all. As illustrated in the poster at the beginning of this post, there are a multitude of different reasons why people lack access to this technology. Factors resulting in digital division are wide ranging and must be considered separately in each individual case (Howell, 2012).

What does this mean for me as a teacher? Most importantly, that 100% of students I come to teach in the future will have access to the internet at home is extremely unlikely; as such it is necessary for me as an educator to understand the needs of students without this access. For example, those without access must be provided attention necessary to keep them ‘up to speed’ with technologies we use within classroom activities. It will also be necessary for me to be aware that the work I propose for out-of-school hours will be possible for students without access to technological tools for word processing or information gathering.


 

REFERENCES:
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014).  Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2012-13 (8146.0). Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration & creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

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