Digital Divide and Poverty

Poverty in the world can be described as continual deprivation.  In other words, the vicious circle of life the poor experiences on a continual basis increasingly devalues their individual rights they were born with.  Furthermore, poverty increases depression and fear.  At its foundation, poverty also diminishes the health of the poor, their opportunities, and it further disparages their dignity as human beings (Lauer & Lauer, 2008, p. 189).  Therefore, with these characteristics in mind, it is easy to see that the increasingly depressing and limited technology options left available to these poverty stricken individuals are few and far between.  Thus, to develop any possible solutions to combat the digital divide, it is essential to understand the social institutions behind this travesty.

Essentially, the distribution of power is one of the main social and governmental constraints behind digital inequality.  Essentially, the wealthiest people are the most powerful, and, in turn have the most political power.  Obviously, this makes the government another large contributor to the vastness of the digital divide, and, subsequently, it conversely makes the economy a major factor as well.  Basically, these three factors affect the poor in variety of ways that include: the concentration of wealth, guaranteeing hardship when finding employment, and poverty-level wages in jobs (Lauer & Lauer, 2008, p. 189).  Thus, as I said before, these factors only add to the helplessness the poor feel with regards to their educational and technological opportunities.

Lastly, the social institution of the educational system itself may be responsible for contributing to the digital divide.  Basically, because of the lack of quality education available to the poor, the poverty stricken usually experience fewer career opportunities and lower pay.  Additionally, poor children tend not to receive any encouragement to pursue a higher education.  Ultimately, in the end, the poor remained trapped in their vicious circle never identifying a way to break the cycle, and, consequently, pass the same negative outlook of their lives onto the next generation.

Thus, I believe this examination creates a “which came first” scenario with respect to the causes and effects of the digital divide.  In other words, do you believe the digital divide, in terms of equipment and access, are responsible for poor educational opportunities in some areas or is it that the poor educational systems are responsible for not seeking out better technological tools to increase the effectiveness of their particular educational system?  Furthermore, could it be a result of both?

References:

Lauer, R., & Lauer, J. (2008). Social problems and the quality of life (11th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Custom Publishing.

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About heidismith3

My name is Heidi Smith, and I am looking forward to continuing my education at Boise State University. Currently, I work for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen in Texas, where I am a Special Projects Coordinator. In short, I am a consultant and trainer to engineers needing appeals for arbitrations between the railroad companies and the railroad union. We are presently trying to integrate more technology into this process to speed up our current workload. I know that having a Masters degree in Educational Technology will aid me in teaching and training our staff more effectively.
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