Wednesday, May 13, 2009

exam notes - Seattle

Servon, L. J. (2002). Chapter. 8 – Building the Bridge: Learning from Seattle. Bridging
the digital divide: Technology, community and public policy. Wiley, John & Sons,

Be able to describe some of the solutions that various organizations in Seattle designed to help
close the digital divide.

• gave free internet to community organizations
• created PAN (large online city hall)
•community technology planner (1st city in nation)
• priority funding for community orgs and centers, which hold them obligated and accountable to provide IT support in order to get funding
• invested in community college IT programs and found funders to contribute equipment and curriculum

Bishop Article

In this article, Bishop discusses the information that low-income African Americans search for on the internet. The information that these people were looking for included, Community activities, childcare, healthcare, education, employment, and crime and safety. These low-income families faced barriers to access and could not find the information that they were often looking for. The major problem with this to me is that these families were not trying to access youtube or ebay. Instead, they were trying to better their lives via technology, but were still denied the access. 


Some solutions organizations designed to help close the digital divide:
1) Seattle public access network- electronic city hall
2)public workstations with access to WWW
3) free web hosting for community organizations
4)CTTAB- advisory board
5) citizen literacy and access fund.
6)TMF- technology matching fund
7)community technology planner
8)SCTA- seattle communication technology alliance: improves the impact, effectiveness, and sustainability of CTC's


Which Seattle residents were less likely to have access to computers?
-African Americans had less access to computers than Caucasians or  Asian-Americans.
-35% lacked access at time of study
-52% had computers at home
-over half of respondents that lacked access were over 65 years old
-68% qualified as having low incomes
-36% had a high school education or less

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Exam review- Toward a new agenda

I picked out some important key terms from the last article, "Toward a New Agenda."

To summarize...

Lower order tasks- less sophisticated usage of the internet (instrumental and informational skills)

Higher order tasks- the use of information technology in more strategic ways

CTC: community organization that brings technology to underserved communities, deliver benefits of information age to those who may not have access otherwise

Social leveler- newer technology with the capacity and capability of eliminating inequalities (ex- CTC’s are important for eliminating inequalities but can’t do the job alone)

face-to-face activities: shown through CTC’s and how they bring people together… hands on and personal experience for users, using technology but still interacting with other people

spatial inequalities: geographical inequalities created by the inability to connect to the internet or utilize relevant technology

community-building organization: groups or places that bring people together, have strong ties to a respective community which makes them an important and effective supplement to CTCs

tech fix: the term that describes the myth that technology is primarily a problem solver (won’t operate as a social leveler on its own, need community involvement for it to make progress) 

Final Review-Chatman

How did Elfreda Chatman’s theories about Information Poverty and Life in the Round match the experiences of the Collins family in the documentary Legacy?

Chatman's theories matched the experiences of the Collins family very closely while they were living in the projects and constantly struggling. Chatman's four concepts were secrecy, deception, risk taking, and situational relevance. Nicole was keeping her family's situation secret from her friends at school because of embarrassment, and her aunt Wanda was keeping her addiction problems secret at first also. As for deception, Nicole's mom was deceiving her own situation, not seeing it in reality as Nicole was, and therefore not making much of an effort to change it. She was also keeping from taking risks by not working harder to try and get jobs and make money to support her children. A problem that applied to the Collins family that they unfortunately had no control over was situational relevance. Because they relied so much on what they were told by social services and not going out on their own, they were deprived from a lot of information, such as how to use technology, which Nicole's mom would have benefited in when looking for jobs. Finally, Chatman stated "…life in the round…works most of the time with enough predictability that , unless a critical problem arises, there is no point in seeking information." This definitely applied to the Collins, as for if Nicole's cousin hadn't been shot, they probably wouldn't have been inspired or had the strength to change their lives and pull themselves out of the deeply negative situation they were in.

Final Exam - Bishop

This article described a program that provided home computers to a low-income African American community. What were the information needs of the members of this community (i.e. what type of information were they interested in searching for on the Internet)?

·      Community services and activities

·      Resources for children

·      Healthcare

·      Education

·      Employment

·      Crime and safety

·      General reference tools

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Burkhalter - Reading Race Online

What are some of the issues related to racial identity and online use?

Lacking physical cues that normally are taken as the source of racial identity in face-to-face conversations, racial identification online relies on participants’ perspectives as revealed in their posts. On the Internet, when an author’s racial identification & textual perspective do not agree with a reader’s stereotype, the author’s racial identity can be read so that racial identity & perspective fit the stereotype. Thus, racial stereotypes may be more influential and resilient online rather than offline.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Final Exam- Jaeger

Jaeger found that 99.6% of all public libraries provided Internet access on their public terminals. However, there were still things related to access that continued the digital divide. What were the issues?

The biggest of these issues appears to be the speed of connection. Rural libraries face much slower connection speeds than urban libraries making some parts of the web hard to access. The rural libraries also, on average, have less access terminals/workstations which can prevent those people from obtaining access. The article stresses that having connectivity is different from have sufficient connectivity that meets the needs of the patrons. Finally, there are also connectivity issues on a state-by-state basis.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Our video's intent was to show how under utilized and under appreciated the libraries around campus are. It shows a very interesting side to the divide that we hardly ever mention in class. This is the side with the group of people who are so connected and in tune with today's networking and technology that they do not even need libraries anymore. The fact that there are tons of libraries on campus but the average "interviewee" guess around six or seven prefectly illustrates this point. I thought my group did a great job and it was very fun to see the other videos that have been posted so far.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hey - I thought I would write about an interesting conversation I overheard at breakfast this morning because it relates to this class. I was sitting at a coffee shop next to a woman (maybe 50 years old) and a man around the same age. They were both using the wireless internet and getting some work done on their computers. The woman was having a hard time accessing the itnernet and was explaining to the man the pressures she felt on staying up to speed with this new technology. She referenced her children and joked about how, if they were there, they would just roll their eyes, click one button, and she would have internet. She also found it interesting that her father who was thirty years older than she is was now e-mailing. I think it is safe to say that before this class, a conversation like that would not have caught my attention, but because of our discussions on different generations' success and struggles in this new era of technology, I thought I would share it with you!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Exit, Voice, & Loyalty

The concepts of exit, voice, and loyalty stem from our discussion on the "There Goes The Neighborhood" readings. The theory relating these three can be thought of as a loyalty continuum with exit and voice lying on opposing ends of this spectrum.

When loyalty to a community or neighborhood is low, exit is the likely response for those living there when things begin to go poorly. Alternatively, when loyalty is high, the voice reaction is typically evoked by community members when confronted by an adverse situation.

The voice response means that community members will take an active role in correcting the apparent problem. The exit response simply means that they will begin vacating the community to find homes elsewhere.

Exam- Week 7

Literacy wasn't a concept on the sheet but I think it was still important.

This means having a mastery over the process by means of which culturally significant information is coded. This is important to the digital divide because computer access mirrors this. Many different things are necessary for mastery and it can be mastered at different levels which lead to different levels of power in a community. Breaking the trend of illiteracy and computer illiteracy in order to break the cycle of underdevelopment and exclusion.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Exam 2

How does Warschauer define access?

Warschauer breaks up access into 3 separate parts:

Devices are the physical possession of a computer and having it connected to the Internet. He says that to fully have access however, a user must be computer competent.
Conduits are things like T.V and radio because they are useless without the airwaves that provide information. Internet falls into this because the infrastructure for fiber optic cables need to be set up to provide internet outlets and computers today are not nearly as useful as they can be if they are not used with the Internet.
Literacy follows the idea of "skills access." To actually interact successfully with ICT, a technological knowledge is a necessary skill.


Define and understand the concept of informationalism.

Castells identified four features that distinguish informationalism from the other industrial revolutions: the driving role of science and technology for economic growth; a shift from material production to information processing; the emergence and expansion of new forms of networked industrial organization; and the rise of socioeconomic globalization.

Informationalism represents the third industiral revolution that is shown in table 1.1 on page 13.

Exam 2

What are the new categories of workers (as opposed to the old categories of blue-collar and white-collar workers)? What do workers in the new categories do?

Routine Production Workers-data entry, payroll etc. Do reasonably menial tasks, often involving computers but used for data entry more so than data analysis.

In Person Service Workers-For example janitors, waiters, etc, something that involves face to face interaction.

Symbolic Analysts- The managerial class, counsultants, managers etc. emphasis on analysis, use computers to that end.

Exam Review

What set of features and technology characterize the different industrial revolutions?

First industrial revolution: Late 18th century
-printing press, steam engine, machinery.
-workplace type: workshop
-organization: master/ apprentice. serf.

Second Industrial Revolution: Late 19th century.
-electricity, internal combustion, telegraph, telephone
-workplace: factory
-organization: vertical hierarchy. 

Third Industrial Revolution: Mid to late 20th century.
-transistor, personal computer, telecommunication, internet
-workplace: office
-organization: horizontal networks.

Exam 2

How does van Dijk define access?
He breaks access down into 4 components:
1. Mental Access-which is defined as someone's desire to avail themselves to use the internet and computer.
2. Material Access- The ability to tangibly possess a computer and other tools to use the internet.
3. Skills access-The ability to use a computer.
4. Usage Access-The amount of need you have for the internet.

Exam 2

Week 8:

What are the characteristics of people who are more likely to be online?
  • College graduates
  • Younger generations
  • Men
  • White origin
  • Higher income
  • Professional and managerial jobs

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Exam 2

Week 8: Defining the digital divide

-Understand the difference between stratification and normalization as it relates to technological diffusion.

Stratification and normalization symbolize the two different ways technologies emerge in a society. They are used now to focus on internet access. Stratification says that the groups of people who are well networked or who are ahead in that technological field will stay ahead and always have an advantage in the digital economy; the first wave of people into a technology will continue advancing and the following waves will always be behind. On the other hand, normalization. Normalization acknowledges the fact that some people get the technology or access before others and they are the first wave, but it says that the waves of people that follow will eventually catch up to those who were ahead and everyone will be on the same technological level.

To sum it up...
Stratification- whoever is ahead will stay ahead
Normalization- everyone will end up in the same place

Exam 2

Understand and be able to explain Albert Hirschman's theory of exit, voice, and loyalty.

Exit: Exit is when people move out of their neighborhood because people from other ethnic backgrounds start to move in. The new ethnic group causes fear of negative change in the neighborhood, such as declining property value and raised crime rates. Usually the whole neighborhood will decide to exit if they can afford it, and will try to find a new neighborhood of their own race.

Voice: Voice is when the people of a neighborhood speak their opinions on the new ethnic groups starting to move in. Usually these are negative opinions, and the original people of the neighborhood try to bond together and keep the other races out, whether in a "loud" or simply ignoring way.

Loyalty: Loyalty is how the original people feel towards their neighborhood. The more loyal the people, the higher the chance that they will stay in neighborhood, and possibly be willing to accept the new people and incorporate them into their neighborhood. But loyalty can also mean that the people will stay in their neighborhood and simply ignore the new people, creating two separated racial groups in the same neighborhood.