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Resources on the Digital Divide
Pew Research Center Report on Americans' Internet Access (2015)
This report documents gaps in Internet access and usage by age, socioeconomic class, level of education, community characteristics, and racial/ethnic identity.
Mapbox: Twitter and Mobile Devices
Global visualization of origin points of more than three billion tweets.
Networked Readiness Report 2014 (World Economic Forum)
Presents rankings by country, taking into account infrastructure, equality of access, and several other measures.
Digital Opportunity Index (DOI)
An e-index based on 11 ICT indicators, grouped in 3 clusters: opportunity, infrastructure and utilization.
ITU-T Country Reports
Each profile looks at a country's technological infrastructure, regulatory environment, and levels of citizen access to information.
Information Access & Inequality
What are the effects of inequalities in the access to information?
What are the mechanisms and structures that aid, control, or hamper the flow of information?
Is access to technology and the Internet the only factor to consider?
- Ask students to keep a one-week journal of when they access the Internet, what device they use to do so, and when their membership in specific groups is required for access. What would the consequences be if they had access to only a smartphone to complete all of their college assignments? What would happen if they needed to apply for jobs online but had to depend on the hours of a public library to be able to access the Internet? What would happen if they lived in a part of the world where an erratic supply of electricity made access to the Internet unpredictable?
- Identify groups in Tacoma or the wider Puget Sound area that are affected by digital divide issues. Interview members of the group and identify barriers. Create a policy recommendation for ways to help the group overcome any identified problems in digital access.
"Information poverty" is a complex concept involving economic poverty and social and cultural aspects of information-seeking behavior. A reading list for students might include: