Reflection: Topic 4

I was immediately drawn to this week’s topic due to its broad scope. Many issues raised by business or educational uses of social media were presented to us and it was required of us to decide and discuss which we felt to be most significant. The range of views and opinions from my peers were particularly evident this week just from the differing blog titles. This meant no two blogs discussed the same issue, leading to intriguing perspectives on a variety of topics.

An issue that proved to pop up quite often however, was identity theft. This attracted me as I was keen to know how this could indeed relate to education or business or in fact both. For this reason, I was caught by Melak’s excerpt as he succinctly outlined his desire to link the issue of identity theft to business. Although I enjoyed the structuring of his blog, I was left wanting more from it. Melak gave a statistic identifying just how much money the UK loses because of identity theft but failed to dive any deeper. Something I felt lacked throughout most posts, including my own, due to the extensive material available on each issue.

I felt a topic I could more easily compare with education and business was that of the digital divide. There were many ways in which the topic could have been addressed. I decided to define the term first, then relate it more specifically to education. Davina also tackled this topic, she chose to address in more detail the wider scale issue of the global digital divide. She raised the point that the inability for certain countries to afford the necessary technology to provide people with greater internet access was much to blame for the wider divide. I completely agreed and wished I went into further detail in my post. Another issue I felt I could have attacked more so was how this affects these countries on an economical sense and what this may mean for them in the future.

 

Comments:

Melak’s blog

Hei Lam’s blog

 

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The Digital|Divide

As recent blogs’ have expressed, we are clearly living in a digital age. We are quick to assume everyone has internet access and thus an online identity, so much so, the few occasions where I am faced by someone without a social media profile baffles me. The nature of the internet’s accessibility in the UK, with free Wi-Fi being available in so many places and almost every household having internet access, we struggle to even fathom a world existing without the internet. However, for many, this is a reality. Most the world’s population are still offline.

The digital divide is defined as 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’. As countries’ have developed and with the internet becoming a major part of communication, we have found the divide to be between those with and without internet access. These people are usually referred to as the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have-Nots’. The video and presentation below gives some more insight into this.

 

The internet is a large part of the way we learn. For example, this very module is all online, without the internet, none of what is occurring on this page would be possible. A study carried out by Jerry Chih-Yuan Sun explores the affect the digital divide has on education. It focussed on technology use, socio-economic status, academic performance and the relationship between all three. The findings showed subjects such as maths and science are positively linked to technology and how coming from a lower socio-economic background made it more difficult to have access to technology. This may prove to have an adverse effect on one’s future with the internet and social media playing massive parts in a person’s employability.

This study demonstrates a microcosm of a much wider scale issue, the global digital divide. This is the divide between the parts of the world that have a predominant amount of internet access, the western world, and the parts where internet access is more restricted, the poorer, less developed countries. The poorer nations are unable to afford the necessary infrastructure which puts them at further disadvantage. The lack of internet access means schools in these countries are unable to teach IT skills and take advantage of the information on the web. Further displaying how impactful the divide is to education. Hence then need to bridge the gap.

A project was recently launched by Navarrow Wright to ‘Close The Divide’, explained in his Ted talk below.

Sources

Leo Kelion, BBC, 2013. UK jumps up internet scoreboard as digital divide grows

Burn & Loch, 2003. The Societal Impact of the World Wide Web – Key Challenges for the 21st Century.

WhatIs.com. Digital Divide definition

Elaine Smith, YouTube, 2012. What is the Digital Divide

Lee Rainie, PewResearchCenter, 2016. Digital Divide 2016

Jerry Chih-Yuan Sun, 2011. The Digital Divide and Its Impact on Academic Performance

Divided by Technology. The impact of the Global Digital Divide

Navarrow Wright, 2015. The New Digital Divide: The Perception Problem

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