Equity and the Digital Divide
The development and advancement of new technologies have been beneficial to global societies and many developing countries, especially in terms of improving the quality of life through healthcare, access to information, and cross-cultural communication. While the role of technology has generally been perceived as a benefit to society, the unintended consequences of technology oriented societies have often led to social inequity, especially in less affluent communities, often creating a two-tiered system of "haves and have-nots", consequently leading to the digital divide. Inequity of resources is felt especially in schools and schooling, where students in poor, isolated, or urban neighborhoods simply do not have the same access to computers and other technologies, as peers in upper class, suburban schools. As we all know, access to the internet requires the ability to pay for a DSL line, or at least, a slow phone line, as well as a computer. Global democracies have a moral responsibility to find effective ways of bridging the digital divide in communities and schools to ensure that citizens are digitally literate and prepared to function as contributing members of a free democratic society.
Keywords: Digital Divide, Equity, Schooling
Dr. Maria A. Pacino
Chair and Professor, Department of Advanced Studies in Education, Azusa Pacific University