Digital Inequality Task Force

Recommendations to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in California July 2012

Task Force Members: (Beta Group) Tracy Arner, Jenni Borg, Stephanie Eshbach, David Krause, Phillip Salvador, David Tapmalai

What is digital inequality?

• •

Inequality among people with formal access to the internet. (DiMaggio, 2001) Consists of five dimensions:

1. Equipment 2. Autonomy of use 3. Skill 4. Social Support 5. Purpose of Use

Why is digital inequality a critical issue?

• • • •

Democratize communication, reducing the differences between socio-economic levels Empower those of lower socioeconomic status Lessen the knowledge gap Equip students for the digital age

Statistics
•How Wide is the Digital Opportunity Gap
in California?

•- 64% of households in California earning less than •$15,000 per year do not own a computer compared to •34% of all California's households and 38% of all •households nationally. •-73% of households in California earning less than $15,000 per year do not use the
Internet at home compared to 40% of all California's households and 45% of all households nationally.

•-8% of households in California earning less than $15,000 per year have broadband
compared to 26% of all California's households and 20% of all households nationally.

•-Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, California ranks 12th in percentage of •Digital Opportunity for California’s Youth: Fact Sheet

households with a computer, 11th in percentage of households with Internet access, and 4th in percentage of households with broadband access.

Option 1
Subsidize Internet Service Providers to provide low-cost Internet to all state residents. Greatly closes the digital divide Low-cost Internet to statewide residents allows for a greater opportunity to become digitally literate or maintain digital literacy Bridge the gap between digital inequality and digital divide Provides greater chance to effectively keep up with changes in technology and compete in the global economy Digital Literacy is critical to the education learners of all ages Low-cost model increases the length of time service can be offered.

• • • • • •

Options 2 & 3
Provide individuals in disadvantaged communities with computers. Partially closes digital divide Individuals can learn and work on applications installed on the computer Lack of internet minimizes access to resources and content

• • •

Provide high-speed Internet and mobile access for all state residents Partially closes digital divide Only successful for individuals who can purchase a household or mobile device Difficult to sustain over time

• • •

Options 4 & 5
Develop free online educational content, giving first priority to content most relevant to lower socio-economic groups before content that is relevant to the rest of the public. Partially closes the digital divide by providing opportunity to improve technical skills and experiences Provides access to knowledge and experiences that are traditionally unavailable to disadvantaged groups Can't survive without being partnered with options 2 & 3.

• • • • • • •

Provide information literacy courses to enhance computer skills and enable knowledgeable use of digital technologies. Partially closes the digital divide by addressing the needs of people who did not experience technology in their educational experience but need to to succeed in today's digital world Opens doors to new educational opportunities Can create more marketable job skills Can't survive without being partnered with options 2 & 3.

Options 6 & 7
Expand staffing and other resources so that public schools can be open to the public after normal school hours, on weekends, and during the summer months

•Partially closes digital divide •This option is already offered with teachers coming in before,
and staying after, normal hours Lack of Internet minimizes access to resources and content

Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when the computers are available.

•Partially closes digital divide •Same as option 6. This option is already offered and computers are available in public libraries •Lack of internet minimizes access to resources and content.

Strongest Alternative
Subsidize Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide low-cost Internet to all state residents

Weakest Alternative
Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when the computers are available.

References
• • • • • •
Ali, T. (2011). Reducing the cost of logging in to learn. DiMaggio, P., & Hargittai, E. (2001). From the 'digital divide' to 'digital inequality:' Studying Internet use as penetration increases. Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Working Paper Series number, 15. Wei, Lu (2011). "Does the Digital Divide Matter More? Comparing the Effects of New Media and Old Media Use on the Education-Based Knowledge Gap." Mass communication & society (1520-5436), 14(2), p. 216.

(2008). Digital opportunity for California's youth fact sheet. The Children's Partnership, 12(3). http://www.childrenspartnership.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Technology&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID= Venkatesh, A., Dunkle, D. E., & Wortman, A. (2010).Evolving patterns of household computer use: 1999-2010. Manuscript submitted for publication, The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine, California. Retrieved from http://crito.uci.edu/papers/2011/HouseholdComputerUse.pdf

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful