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.