Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 - Digital Divide

Today is Blog Action Day. I wish I had known about it before I checked Mary Hess' blog this morning. I would have prepared more!
The theme is poverty.

I'm excited because most of the bloggers that I follow posted something regarding poverty, regardless of the subject of the blog.

Most of you know my passion regarding social media. I love how social media connects us. I have friends on Facebook that live 2 miles away, and I have friends that are thousands of miles away. I also have the luxury of cracking open my laptop just about anywhere, and bam...I can chat/monitor/tweet/connect to social media. Also, I have been working with youth on the brink for 2 years, and I currently reside in North Minneapolis.

Back in the 1990's Colin Powell and Bill Clinton (among others) coined the term digital divide. The term described the divide between the people who had access technology and those who didn't. This changed from computers in the schools to computers in the home.

The definition has changed since then. The term digital divide does not mean access to technology anymore. The term has now shifted to access to CURRENT technology.

Many community centers and schools are operating with old equipment due to donations of outdated equipment or lack of funding.

How is this an issue of poverty? Youth who don't have basic computer skills are behind in school, as they are having to learn both the computer and the content. Education is power and can begin to break the cycle of poverty.

To read more about this, read this report from the MacArthur Foundation.

I have my favorite places that are decreasing/ending the digital divide.
My two favorites are:
Computer Clubhouse
Redeemer Center for Life

Also surf over to the Blog Action Day Website, and read up on the international effort that is happening today. (Other blogs are much more articulate than me...I'm still finding my blogging voice.... :))

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Blogging Take 3

I pondered for a long time what to call this post. I've been off the blogging radar since the beginning of May. I have gone through so much...yet at the same time, I haven't.

I pondered many titles for this post, one of which was "Clinging to Hope," which I then decided was a rejected campaign slogan of Obama.

I'm in a GIANT holding pattern....I'm waiting to take off at the Atlanta Airport, and there's fog....OR...I'm in a giant hallway with a million doors and as I start to walk through an open door, the door slams in my face...OR...

I have lots of time to ponder metaphors to explain life right now...All of them have some form of truth to them.

There are days when the frustration of where I am in life is oppressive, like yesterday and today. Then the Holy Spirit starts to work in ways that I will never completely understand. People just show up. These are people who love me unconditionally and let's be honest, I don't deserve them at all. I am blessed to be surrounded by MANY friends and colleagues who love me for who I am. They SUPPORT my strange gifts and qualities, and tell me that I will find a place and that I am smart and talented. They catch me when I'm falling into my dark place (as Grey's Anatomy puts it).

Right now, I'm learning that falling isn't as hard as it seems, and that there are a great number of people who are willing to catch me, and I'm blessed, honored and humbled by them. That and patience at so many levels...But that's another post for another day.

I decided that I'm going to blog about books and articles that I've read recently. Right now, I'm reading Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman and an To the Tune of a Welcoming God by David Weiss. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is in the cue, along with Life Together by Bonhoeffer. (Now that I look through that list, I do think I'm crazy.....)