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Over the past decade, the human society has been exposed to diverse technological innovations ranging from simple communication services to complex informatics tools. However, accessibility of technology among diverse demographic groups has become a debatable topic in the twenty-first century. This situation has resulted in boundless social divisions based on a variety of factors including education, income, and wealth, which have raised many questions surrounding the use of technology (Pluye et al., 2017). One of the greatest technological features that have transformed the society is the World Wide Web or the Internet. As a result, many scientists have begun investigating various policy implications of the modern demographic patterns of the accessibility to the Internet and its usage. In regards to this knowledge, this essay provides an insight into the importance of aligning population needs to technology. It explores how certain demographic groups are affected by the “Digital Divide” and “Information Gap”.
Demographic characteristics such as wealth, education, social class, and race among others have greatly contributed to the digital divide and increasing information gap around the world (Robinson et al., 2015). At the outset, income and wealth of individuals have been key factors that contribute digital divide. One of the most affected demographic groups includes the low-income earners in the society. Today, technology has become more affordable and many people can access features such as the internet. Nevertheless, the information gap between rich and poor individuals still remains. The rich people in the society are more likely to gain access to digital resources as compared to the poor. This demographic factor is closely related to education. Wealth people readily support education due to their financial positions; hence, their children have access information technology. On the other hand, children from low-income families have inadequate access to technological resources (Robinson et al., 2015). This situation hinders them from acquiring skills that are vital for ensuring the success of the modern-day economy.
Such disparities in digital divide and issues in technology use among certain groups affect the ability of individuals to apply for and receive services. For instance, the unaffordability of technological devices among the poor people reduces their access to internet resources. This situation further limits the ease of getting information. A research that was conducted by Robinson et al. (2015) indicated that low-income families still lag behind in the acquisition of technology devices such as laptops and smartphones. This indicates that people from poor backgrounds are less likely to gain access to important information from the internet. Although smart devices are becoming affordable each day, the development of more efficient, complex, and expensive ones further widens the technological gap.
As a service provider, one the most effective ways of reducing the information gap and digital divide is through identification of today’s population needs especially among the young generation. Along these lines, educators should be provided with the necessary training resources to deliver instruction in the modern learning environment in addition to ensuring the establishment of appropriate educational technology infrastructure. The educators should also undergo thorough pedagogical training to understand how to properly integrate digital-based learning into schools. Thus, the government should be encouraged to support them with high-end development and mentoring opportunities in technology (Pluye et al., 2017). Besides, technology companies should encourage the use digital media by disadvantaged groups through broadening infrastructure in low-income schools and rural areas.
Pluye, P., El Sherif, R., Bartlett, G., Granikov, V., Grad, R. M., Doray, G., ... & Bouthillier, F. (2017). Overcoming the digital divide? Low education low-income parents are equally likely to report benefits associated with online parenting information. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 54(1), 775-777.
Robinson, L., Cotten, S. R., Ono, H., Quan-Haase, A., Mesch, G., Chen, W., ... & Stern, M. J. (2015). Digital inequalities and why they matter. Information, Communication & Society, 18(5), 569-582.
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