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Many community centers and schools are operating with old equipment due to donations of outdated equipment or lack of funding.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

No comments: