The Digital Disparities Facing Lower-Income Teenagers

Description:  Teenagers in lower-income households have fewer desktop, laptop and tablet computers to use at home than their higher-income peers, according to a new study.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Nov 3, 2015

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One-fifth of teenagers in lower-income households reported that they never used computers for their homework — or used them less than once a month. And one-tenth of lower-income teenagers said they had only dial-up web access, an often slow and erratic Internet connection, at home. None of the higher-income youths said they had only dial-up access, according to the report.     Read Rest of Story 

 Questions for discussion:

  1. What is the digital divide, and is it problem?       Why?
  2. What is the solution to the digital divide?       Should the government be involved in the solution? Why or Why Not?
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114 thoughts on “The Digital Disparities Facing Lower-Income Teenagers

  1. Sean Roberts

    1. What is the digital divide, and is it problem? Why?
    The digital divide is a term that refers to the gap between those who have access to technology and the ability to purchase it, compared to those that don’t or have restricted access. This technology ranges from phones, computers, or anything that connects to the internet. The digital divide does seem to be a big problem because of where our society is moving towards. Everything nowadays is connected to the internet in some way and every industry utilizes this. Even people in developing countries have the same kind of opportunities as people in developing countries, but some people don’t have access to this technology.
    What is the solution to the digital divide? Should the government be involved in the solution? Why or Why Not?
    An seemingly easy solution to the digital divide would be to help everyone gain access to the internet. Although this is not quite an easy task for many reasons. Setting up this kind of technology in many countries would cost substantial amounts of money, and most of the countries that need the money don’t have it. The government should try and do all they can to help provide a solution and give everyone an equal chance to prosper no matter where they live, but this kind of solution will be hard to come by in my opinion. Although without government intervention the gap in the digital divide will only continue to increase. What the worlds governments decide to do about it will determine how big the gap will continue to get.

    Reply
  2. Gray.yu

    1.What is the digital divide, and is it problem? Why?
    In every country ,there are always some people own the best information technology provided by society,they have the most powerful computer, the best telephone service, the fastest network services,and they were also educated well about this . But there are also some people can’t conntact the powerful computer, the best telephone service, the fastest network services, they even dont have good education about this. The gap between the two kinds of people is digital divide(This is second digital. The first digital divide is between country and country)
    The main reason of digital is the economic gap, poor people can’t pay for a good education ,they can’t pay for a good computer, so they become the vulnerable groups in the digital divide.

    2.What is the solution to the digital divide? Should the government be involved in the solution? Why or Why Not?
    I think the way to solute the problem is not for individual. The government should be involved in the solution. Because this problem will be a social problems if it exist. It can’t solve this problem if just one person get rid of digital divide.
    1).Government should have the consciousness of digital , It is better to prevent the happening of the digital divide than handing problem after its appearence.
    2).Government should Increasing investment in information industry and education,especially at the less developed areas. People who live at the less developed areas more need good education than others.
    3).Government should universal access to information resources in the country ,not just developed areas.

    Reply
  3. Miriam

    What is the digital divide, and is it problem? Why?
    The digital divide is the gap between the fortunate countries that have access to technology at their leisure and countries that do not have this luxury. It is a problem because in countries such as Canada, children are wanting the newest edition of the iPhone or the computer and worry so much about the accomplishments in video games while children in Africa aren’t always granted to luxury of education. It is a huge issue and should be resolved as soon as possible,
    What is the solution to the digital divide? Should the government be involved in the solution? Why or Why Not?
    The solution of the digital divide is a very hard thing to be able to figure out. I do not think that this situation will have a solution for a while because of the tremendous effort it will take for the government to find one. On some areas yes I do think the government should be involved, however I do think that it will have to be effort from the general population in donations and trying to mend the gap between countries that have this divide. It will be a very difficult thing to resolve but I think with the help from everyone, it can be accomplished.

    Reply
  4. Jaylen Korver

    1. What is the digital divide, and is it problem? Why?
    The digital divide is the disparity between 2 set of people who have technology. The term is more used to describe the divide between those who have technology and those who don’t, but the article talks about the divide we have here in North America. There is a divide between the kids who come from wealthy families and have computers, fast internet vs. kids from low-income families who have dial-up internet and no computers, only smartphones.
    2. What is the solution to the digital divide? Should the government be involved in the solution? Why or Why Not?
    I’m not sure there is a total solution to the digital divide. Yes, internet is becoming a bigger part of our daily lives, but is it as essential as electricity, food, shelter, and other basic necessities? Why should low-income families spend money on digital devices and forego the essentials? I guess where the article says that more and more homework is handed out electronically, they should decrease that until the newer technology is more affordable? There is a program out there that gives basic laptops to children in Africa, but maybe if there was a program like that for under-privileged kids here in North America, these kids could work on homework on their laptops.

    Reply
  5. Kathryn Yost

    1.What is the digital divide, and is it problem? Why?
    The digital divide is the difference between individuals who can afford the technology of smart phones, tablets and laptops and those who cannot. This poses a problem for those individuals who cannot afford these luxuries as the world is becoming centered around technology. Those without the technology are falling behind and will not learn the necessary skills that are needed in to function in the work force with technology. This will lead to the inability for individuals to break out of their family’s past roles in the workplace and to move upward and forward in their careers. Schools should make sure there is a computer room available for students to loan out a computer for the day to do homework and so that they have the same competitive advantage as their peers.

    Reply
  6. Marilou D

    The Digital Divide is the notion of a gap between people that can afford modern technology and internet access, and those who cannot afford it. This concept shows the inequalities between those two populations and it shows the influence that these disparities has on how teenagers succeed at school, socialize, entertain themselves and apply for college or jobs given the technological resources that they have access to. One of the reason of a student being successful at school is because of his access to a computer and internet, while a student that don’t access it has difficulties to complete their homework and by result has less chance to succeed as good as the student that have access to technology. This disparities has been created by our behaviour by relying heavily on technology and as a result, schools have also based a lot of their teaching strategies around the use of technology which led to a inequality at the education level between these two kinds of students. To me if students can’t access technology to meet the homework requirements asked by the instructor, the school should provide an access to technology or other equal options. If the school can’t afford it, the government should then provide it. Nowadays technology does exacerbate the disparities between the haves and the have-nots, instead of reducing them. At the end we created an unfair system for students.

    Reply
  7. Leon Mella

    1. What is the digital divide, and is it problem? Why?
    The digital divide is in reference to the separation in access to information that appears in households. The separation occurs in house with lower incomes have a smaller access to the internet. So in smaller income homes they are limited to how their kids are able to get information. So the problem this brings up is the clear difference in work some kids are able to produce in their school work. So watching the difference in a student who is easily able to access the a computer to research a topic and type an assignment is significantly different to a student who has to do all of that manually. It creates a very distinct difference in learning capabilities. This problem is becoming bigger and bigger because of the growing financial gaps between families. Seeing most students with their own personal computer or even a smart phone creates a world of a difference to the access to information and the world in general. I feel however this divide should be diminishing due to the the higher amount of computers and understanding the needs for computers in the classroom. Although income differences are still evident this should be offset by the school system itself allowing equal opportunity for the students.

    Reply
  8. Graydon Burbnk

    1. What is the digital divide, and is it problem? Why?
    The digital divide is the gap between those with the opportunity to access computers and the internet and those without that opportunity. It is definitely a problem, I feel that it produces an inequality for people of lower income households versus those of higher income. The ability of students to simply do research for essays and papers at school on a computer is greatly aided by the use of the internet, vs the students who have to use books and other means of research to complete these assignments. Technology shouldn’t be something that creates a divide between students of different upbringings and financial situations, but that seems to be the exact problem it is creating. This is not only a problem for students at schools but also for their social groups and situations in life. Without a smartphone, children of lower income are often excluded from social groups and at times are ridiculed for their inability to associate on social media and keep up with social trends such as the newest devices.
    2. What is the solution to the digital divide? Should the government be involved in the solution? Why or Why Not?
    I don’t know if there is a solution to the digital divide, because personally I know that there will always be those who take advantage of “the system” and wreck it for everyone else. If the government did step in and pay or subsidize some of the cost of getting devices into the hands of lower income families there could possibly be the potential of higher income families feeling like they weren’t being considered and that their tax dollars would be going towards those of lower income. Although this may be a selfish outlook, these wealthier people would probably end up being the ones paying for digital divide shrinking programs put on by the government, and as we have learned in the past, people don’t like to share, even if it would solve the problem that the digital divide causes.

    Reply
  9. jessica dexter

    1. The digital divide is defined as the different between those who have access to technology anf those who do not. This can create a challenge for people and for developing countries because they do not have the same amount of access to the same information that 75% of the rest of the world does. It also impacts globalization, those countries that do not have access to the internet have a harder time adapting to globalization.
    2. I do not know if there is a clear solution to the digital divide. But there was a video that we watched in one of the screen casts that showed efforts of bringing low priced computers to developing countries. As mentioned in the article another solution would be from the government providing low income families with broadband internet. I think that government involvement could be helpful in some countries because the government has access to resources, and they can use these resources to implement internet subsidy programs.

    Reply
  10. Emily Dawkins

    What is the digital divide, and is it problem? Why?
    The digital divide is a term that refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don’t or have restricted access. This technology can include the telephone, television, personal computers and the Internet. I view this as a problem because it is limiting global information systems and limiting people to vital and valuable information that has the ability to improve the quality of live.
    What is the solution to the digital divide? Should the government be involved in the solution? Why or Why Not?
    I do not know what the solution to the digital divide is but I do know it is a problem that needs to be solved. Canada and other 1st world countries have amazing advances in technology while 3rd world countries barely have telephones. This is limiting them to many opportunities and resources. I believe the government should be getting involved in the situation. The government is supposed to be there in order to help the countries succeed and advance further. Addressing this situation is in my opinion the governments job and the reason that countries have a government. Without government intervention, the digital divide will not and cannot be solved.

    Reply

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