October 13, 2014 by ztheb
We live in a world where digital technology is fast moving and fast developing. Most of us expect each other to have fluent knowledge in how to use past, present and future digital devices and programs. However, it is a reality that there is a digital divide between demographics and regions, both within Australia and around the world.
According to recent studies and reports, the digital divide is still very much a reality today. It is important to overcome this gap to help improve literacy, numeracy, social mobility, economic equality and economic growth (Rouse, 2014). Close the Gap , is an organisation that aims to bridge the digital divide around the world.
This week I found that Early Childhood Education plays a valuable role in ensuring that low-income children have access to technology and learn how to use it. There has been research done highlighting the importance of Early Childhood Education bridging the digital divide. Throughout these years, teachers can begin to build foundational skills in technology – incorporating literacy, numeracy and other curriculum understanding (Daugherty, Dossani, Johnson & Oguz, 2014), and ensuring children don’t get left behind.
You can read more about how Early Childhood Education can help to bridge the gap at – http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/perspectives/PE100/PE119/RAND_PE119.pdf
There are many different groups of people who have been left behind in the advances of the digital world, for many reasons. Every group requires different approaches in addressing this, and the government and related organisations must approach people accordingly, rather than just using the ‘one size fits all approach’ (Pitman, 2012).
Currently, the Australian Government is trying to overcome the digital divide in a few different ways, as outlined in the links below:
Bridging the Digital Divide: Engaging Indigenous Communities through Cross-Sector Collaboration – https://publications.qld.gov.au/storage/f/2014-01-31T00%3A26%3A34.897Z/lupi-anthony-final.pdf
Australian Human Rights Commission : Building bridges over the digital divide – https://www.humanrights.gov.au/building-bridges-over-digital-divide
Service Delivery in Government: The Australian Communications and Media Authority research: http://servicedelivery.dss.gov.au/2014/08/25/acma-releases-research-snapshot-of-regional-australia/
More than before, I feel that as an Early Childhood Teacher I have a responsibility to teach and support students in such a way that children can form a basic knowledge of digital technology, and ultimately help to bridge the digital divide. I feel that high-quality learning and resources need to be available to all, so those less fortunate have the same opportunities to learn.
Curtin, L. (2001). _Paliament of Australia: a Digital Divide in Rural and Regional Australia?. Retreived from http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/CIB/cib0102/02CIB01
Daugherty, L., Dossani, R., Johnson, E., & Oguz, M. (2014). Using Early Childhood Education to Bridge the Digital Divide. Retrieved from http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/perspectives/PE100/PE119/RAND_PE119.pdf
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagoogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Australia, Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
O’Leary, T. (2012). The Sydney Morning Herald: Making connections to end digital divide. Retreived from http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/making-connections-to-end-digital-divide-20121009-27aul.html#ixzz3EsKPbrC0
Pitman, T. (2012). Online education: can we bridge the digital divide?. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/online-education-can-we-bridge-the-digital-divide-9725
Rand. (2014). Using Early Childhood to Bridge the Digital Divide [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/perspectives/PE100/PE119/RAND_PE119.pdf
Rouse, M. (2014). Digital Divide. Retrieved from http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/digital-divide
Shasty, S. (2014). Google’s study of area shows a digital divide [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article304432/Google’s-study-of-area-shows-a-digital-divide.html