Week 4 Reflection: The Digital Divide and the Next Generation

It’s human nature to take things for granted, especially those things that are prevalent in our lives on a daily basis. The laptop that I’m typing on and the smart phone that is sitting next to me, and even the sheer ability to be able to use the internet, are perfect examples of this. That’s not to say that there is anything necessarily wrong with that — technology is everywhere — but many of us are lucky enough, and capable enough, to be able to use the technologies that exist in today’s digital age. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. The digital divide is real. There are people throughout the world that are not privy to have the necessary access to modern information and technology systems.

Having said that, there is little doubt that the gap is closing — more people are “connecting” every day — but at what point will that shrinking gap be more noticeable? There are companies, like Andela, built on the foundation of helping to bridge the digital divide, and the government is funneling money into public schools to enable them to include technologies that the students are not often exposed to at home (the charter school that my girlfriend works at in inner city Philly has Apple TVs in each classroom). So in the United States specifically, is it possible that by the time the next generation comes around, they will simply be in a better place in terms of having access to and feeling comfortable with digital technologies? I think that, as a country, if we can find a way to integrate these technologies into the school systems, we will be ahead of the curve when it comes to closing the gap.

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