Digital Equity


The "Digital Divide" is a term that often goes hand-in-hand with digital equity discussions. Wikipedia defines the term like this: "The term digital divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the imbalances in physical access to technology as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen." Basically, it boils down to the fact that some people have access to information technology and some people don't, or they may have access but don't have the necessary skills to use it effectively.

Articles:


This article reflects on digital equity and the gains we are making but also addresses some "essential conditions" for digital inclusion, which seems to directly relate to the depth of the Digital Divide.
http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/?i=54429

This article is a bit lengthy and can be difficult to read and understand all of the data...but I found the summary and discussions quite interesting. One focus of the article is on Computer Access and Computer Use in education, with attention given to minorities.
http://eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/3e/36/08.pdf


Video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkXLDU5_Yrc&feature=related
This video addresses the problem of digital inequities and provides some options for freeing up money spent on software, in order to use it for more teacher training or other technology needs. The creator of the video has a great website, with recommendations for certain Open Source software.
http://www.kootmansclass.com/softwaretips.html

I also found a fantastic link to a wiki page, which has a TON of options for OpenSource (FREE) software. I'm sure you will find what you're looking for! Please check it out...it will help you save time and money.
http://opensourceresources.wikispaces.com/

Wikis:


This is a link to a Marian University wiki page that addresses some different types of Digital Divide: Generational, Global, National and Teacher. I particularly enjoyed reading an article about an experiment called "Hole in the Wall", in India.
https://wikitechie.wikispaces.com/Digital+Divide

This is a link to a wiki page, created by our very own MSU students, that addresses Digital Equity issues.
http://lot91hoofers.wikispaces.com/DigitalEquity

Organizations:

Here are two links to organizations that are working toward narrowing the Digital Divide. They could be a great avenue for teaching your students about helping others, as a service learning project.

Bridges is an international non-profit organization that promotes the effective use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the developing world to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. This link shows examples of how digital equity goes beyond just the physical access of technology.
http://www.bridges.org/RA_images

World Computer Exchange is an international educational non-profit focused on helping the world's poorest youth to bridge the disturbing global divides in information, technology and understanding. http://www.worldcomputerexchange.org