The Digital Divide

Rachel Jaffe

 

            In Newark, a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the US, many Newark Leadership Academy students are unable to afford Internet access at home. Like all public schools in the city, Wi-Fi is not available to teachers or students. In situations like this, teens will often seek alternative methods of connecting to the digital world.

Living in poverty and lacking education/work experience as some of the reasons why so many Americans forgo broadband access at home. I found what Warzala said of her students to be astounding, “They’re all over Twitter but they don’t know how to save a Word Document”. I found this statement to be shocking and unsettling. Learning by using computers at a young age is what shaped my current understanding/relationship with modern technology. From learning how to write a Microsoft Word Document in MLA Format, to trying to prevent your Tweet from exceeding the 140-character limit, every interface has it’s own proper way of doing things. It is with years of hand-on practicing and experimenting with the spread of technology and it’s progression over the ages. I agree with Susan Crawford’s statement, “Having fast, reliable Internet access is a basic human right”. If the majority of Americans are able to learn, explore, accomplish tasks easier, and solve problems with assistive technology, then ALL people should have this opportunity to better themselves and their communities. I believe it is in the nation’s best interest to make computers more accessible in neighborhoods that need them because it brings so many unheard voices to the light, all the while building strong relationships between like-minded people. 

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One thought on “The Digital Divide

  1. I believe that along with fast, reliable internet being a basic human right, computer access should be a right too. What good is internet access without a device that can access it and perform all the functions it provides? A mobile device just doesn’t cut it for certain tasks.

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