Posted by & filed under Digital Divide, IT and Politics.

IN TALIHINA, OKLAHOMA, smack dab in the middle of Choctaw Nation, there is a hospital parking lot that, for years, has lit up with activity every night. It’s not doctors or patients rushing to this plot of pavement but students from the local community college, who, lacking internet access in their own homes, head to the parking lot, log on to the hospital’s network, and do their homework. When Chike Aguh, CEO of the nonprofit EveryoneOn, traveled there back in November 2015, he says he met students who told him they’d sit in their cars and compose entire research papers on their iPhones each night.

Source: Wired Magazine

Date: May 25th, 2017

Link: https://www.wired.com/2017/05/no-matter-washington-one-nonprofit-closing-digital-divide/

Discussion

1) The “Digital Divide” is defined as “the gulf between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not.”  Notice in this case that the students are described as having iPhones but not having access to the Internet.  What do you think the “Digital Divide” actually is?

2) In casual surveys in my classes, when asked whether students would rather have street lighting or internet, the majority always comes down on internet.  Should internet service become a public utility provided as part of a city or town’s basic infrastructure?

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