Tuesday, March 31, 2009
My favorite part of the OLPC article was the part about the community not wanting to pay for the computers because they saw them just as black boxes with software that they didn't know how to use. This, and the video we watched in class today, just show how scary technology is to those who are technologically illiterate. It's easy for a class of college students, who have grown up looking at a monitor, to question why those on welfare don't apply for jobs, and why they don't continue their education. But for someone who is on the wrong side of the digital divide, like the children on OLPC, and many of those in the United States who are in povery, not having the skills puts them at a huge disadvantage. As we saw in the movie today, the mother tried to get a job multiple times, but was uncomfortable, as she didn't have the technological skills. Even after she was offered a free class, she was resistant to learn. It is next to impossible to teach those who have grown up without computers how to navigate them as efficiently as those who have grown up with them not because they don't have the capacity to learn, but because it is scary and foregin. It is often uncomfortable. The OLPC illustrates this as well, just by the language they use to describe the computers. They see it as a waste of money, because to them, it is a foreign concept.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Compaine might reply by saying that James exaggerates his viewpoint. Compaine acknowledges the problems occurring because of the digital divide. However, when comparing developed countries to developing countries, the latter had issues far greater than closing the gap. “A society that has more important issues, such as feeding and housing its people and providing for safety and security, and creating a general well-being.” The digital divide is low on their list of priorities.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
We didn't get to talk about the James article as much as I would have liked. To make up for it, I'm hoping to move our class discussion to our blog. The question comes from the list I sent out last week.
What are some examples of James’s evidence that he uses to argue against Compaine? How might Compaine reply?
James's article is replying directly to Compaine's--as well as a few others. You can see the number of times he cites him in his article. I'm asking us to give Compaine a chance to rebut. How might Compaine use James's evidence to argue for his point of view?
Please reply in the comment section of this post.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Reading through many of the resposnes on the article website I was surprised to find that there was a lot of disagreement and dissent with the program as a whole. Many responses pointed to the fact that we face technology problems at home and that directing our attention abroad will not help the domestic digital divide. Some posts went as far to say that we would be wasting our money and that supplying the country with these kinds of tools could put Americans at risk of these developing countries rising above us. However, there were many replies that this kind of charity was highly beneficial and the next step in connecting the developing countries on a global scale. One blogger made a point about how even though some people lack independent access to technology in the US, most communities offer some kinds of free access to technology that can be obtained with library cards. Many bloggers attacked other bloggers for shooting down the charitable ideas.
While both sides have stronghold arguements, I believe that the One Laptop Per Child is a great start, but not an end all be all. Of course, there are children and adults fighting for more basic needs and technology access but no matter what kinds of policies and services the country provides, there will always be exceptions. Despite the economic turmoil we face today, I think it is important now more than ever to direct resources to places that would not be able to attain these tools on their own. People also need to remember that this is only a stepping stone, a place to start, to begin to connect the world through technology. This whole concept ties into globalization and how our world, in order to keep up with each other, needs to stay connected through global Internet technologies. As we discussed in class, it is our best interest to help other countries keep up with us and one another as far as technology goes. Leveling the technological playing field,will allow countries to succeed together in a more successful global economy.
Another thing that stuck with me was how small the computer itself was. Sure, these kids will be able to use it when they're young, but what happens as they get older and start growing? I don't think that anybody in discussion had small enough hands to comfortably type on the keyboard. Once the children hit a certain age, are they expected to find themselves another computer, or do they no longer "need" one?
I think the One Laptop Per Child plan was a good idea, but in my opinion, it should have been executed better. Taking into consideration the lack of skills the children might have and making the computer a little larger could make a vast difference for the kids who use it.
The OLPC program is an excellent idea and means of trying to bridge the digital divide between the developed and developing worlds. However, I think it's very important to consider the lack of technological experience that people using these laptops probably have. As we've discussed multiple times in class, having the technology is not enough. Learning takes time, and it's very difficult to learn for a person that hasn't grown up using technology. I guess the program targets children though, so that would be the best age group to start teaching this type of skill. Still, it seems like all of the information describing the program fails to acknowledge that even though the technology is inexpensive and relatively easy to acquire a specific skill-set is required to operate and effectively use the laptops. A large number of jobs could probably be created in order to teach people how to use the technology, which could be a large benefit to citizens of these developing nations.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Unlike the OLPC computer though, the 10 Dollar Laptop is display-less and keyboard-less, and also requires printer paper. Regardless, at least India is taking a step in the right in the right direction: imagine how much progress could be made if other countries joined in on the race to help digitize developing countries. The competition would not only propel technological corporations (for instance, there's talk of switching OLPC from Windows to Linux--which could definitely be a great opportunity for Linux), but it would also involve everyone in the issues of digital divides. At least everyone then would be literate on the politics of technology, if not technology itself.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
It's more about "divides" and less about the "digital" aspect, but the ESOL courses could definitely be looked at as a type of technology. In the article, immigration (whether legal or illegal) is cited as the biggest rift in American education today in many school districts. I think it's interesting that we've been focusing a lot on geographical and income and racial differences, but Hylton High School in suburban Virginia proves that those differences aren't really the pressing problem anymore. Every Hylton student has access to the same education quality and same technologies (and same libraries)--EXCEPT those who can't speak English well. The article's author repeatedly mentions "segregation," and it definitely provides a lot to think about.
Friday, March 13, 2009
this realtes a lot to the globalization trend we have been discussing in class. if the new economy is one in which capital, production, management, labor, technology and information are organized across national boarders then it only makes sense to consider ourselves part of a global economy. a global economy in which national trade barriers and egocentric barrier must fade in order for every involved party to prosper. giving laptops to children in africa is acknowledging that global technological literacy is essestial for further growth in the ever-expanding horizions of globalization
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
What does that mean for your responses? You'll have to read the post and your classmates' comments to make sure you're not repeating anything! We want to know as much as we can so we can make informed decisions about how this laptop relates to the issues we've been discussing in class.
In relation, try to also provide some commentary about how your OLPC information relates to some portion of the class content.
This will be fun!
One of the most striking digital divides that I have come across, though unrelated to American libraries, is the vast difference between the technology available to children here, and that available to those in Africa. The One Laptop per Child organization strives to bridge that gap by donating inexpensive, interactive laptops to children in Africa. The article that I read described the program and stated how it lacks funding not only because we, technologically advanced nations, aren't giving enough but also because the governments of these countries are not willing to spend the money to test these unproven products that could take away from the standard teaching environment. The African governments are concerned about buying "an odd looking box with unfamiliar software" which is a valid concern. Relating this article to our class though, I think that this initiative is one that needs to be explored more. If we can provide children in Africa with internet access and computers, we will be able to further break down cultural and physical barriers between countries and people. This program will help promote business practices that can occur across any distance and can link up children in different countries to help with learning and understanding the size of the world. Further, children will get involved with technology at an early age and will have an advantage, or at least an even playing field in the business world in the futures. This is something that libraries in the US provide as well. While one laptop per child here too would be a stretch, every family having access to a computer and the internet is not. That is achievable thanks to libraries which, much like the One Laptop Per Child organization, serve to bridge the digital divide and bring those underprivileged individuals to the level that the rest of the world is at.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I agree with earlier posts that this is contingent with the four c’s. It is interesting that there are three separate categories, rather than the two, white and blue collar jobs. Technology has implemented all three classes; the poor, the middle class, and the wealthy. Those who work lower wage jobs, and who may not have a good education, still are required to know the basics of technology. It’s everywhere.
In my opinion, all three of the new categories of workers could contain people previously defined as blue- and white-collar workers. The boundaries are completely redefined. The first two categories, routine production workers and in-person service workers, use computers and the Internet routinely for day-to-day tasks and the third category, symbolic analysts, for more creative and analytical tasks. Overall, ICT has infiltrated all areas of work, and people that have not grown up with technology may not even have the option of working what was previously considered a blue-collar job. Also, since the third category is very heavily technology-oriented, even people with a college degree might not have the option of working one of these jobs if they did not grow up using ICT. In both of these ways, Robert Reich's divisions illustrate inequality, the digital divide, and more racial ravines caused by lack of resources in lower-income areas.
I feel this division could be the consequence of digital divide, because individual, who grew with exposure of benefit of technology, should be familiar with process requiring complicated computer-related work, and because this work requires professional skills, the income must higher than other two job categories. The difference in income provide different levels of abilities can afford education and environment people live, therefore; digital divide deepened the digital divide.
Informationalism is the third industrial revoluion. It started in the 1970s with the introduction of the personal computer, transistor and telecommunications. The four features that distinguish informationalism from other forms of capitalism are:
1. Science and technology
2. Shift from material production to information processing
3. Emergence and expansion of new forms of networked industrial organization
4. Rise of socioeconomic globalization
Information needs to be spread thoughout the country and world. With the increased research and invention of new technologies and informations, the poorer countries are becoming poorer or staying poor and the rich countries are becoming richer. We need to work on getting information and technologies to the poor countries and help with making the world more equal. These four features will lead the world into a bright, infomed future.
Monday, March 9, 2009
There is a distinct difference between blue- and white-collar workers, but the lines between the three new classifications of workers aren't so clear. While it is unlikely that blue-collar workers will use advanced technology, and highly likely that white-collar workers will, all three of Reich's divisions of workers can use technology. The only really defining division is that the third category of workers uses ICTs.
The three categories are routine production workers like data processors, payroll clerks, and factory workers; in-person service workers like janitors, hospital attendants, and taxi drivers; and symbolic analysts like software engineers, management consultants, and strategic planners. They all use the internet and technology, but the first two do so in routine ways and the last use ICT’s for analysis and interpretation of data, create new knowledge, international communication and collaboration, and development of complex multimedia products. Those who have the lower two jobs (routine production workers and in-person service workers) are usually of a certain class and race, so therefore are not using this new technology to create innovation, so there is never an opportunity to escape these boundaries. So although the definition of jobs have changed, the racial ravine is still ever present and fully entangled in this new definition. There is also a digital divide because only the symbolic analysts are the ones who are fully developing their technology skills, so they are the ones who are staying in-synch with modern technology while the other two working classes are falling behind and are not able to climb the socioeconomic ladder because of this
1. THE ROUTINE PRODUCTION WORKERS - EX. DATA PROCESSORS, PAYROLL CLERKS
2. IN PERSON SERVICE WORKERS - EX. JANITORS, HOSPITAL ATTENDANTS
3. SYMBOLIC ANALYSTS - EX. SOFTWARE ENGINEERS, MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS, STRATEGIC PLANNERS
HE EXPLAINS EMPLOYEES THAT ALL THREE MIGHT USE COMPUTERS AND INTERNET FOR THEIR JOBS BUT THE ROUTINE PRODUCTION WORKERS AND IN PERSON SERVICE WORKERS TEND TO MAKE USE OF IT IN ROUTINE WAYS AND SYMBOLIC ANALYSTS MAKE USE OF ICT ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA CREATION OF NEW KNOWLEDGE, INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF COMPLEX MULTIMEDIA PRODUCTS
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
The technological integration is the monumental difference between these three categories and the traditional “white-collar, blue-collar” categories of the past. No matter what the task at hand, ultimate success relies on either the internet or some form of advanced technology. For example a janitor (categorized as an in person service worker) likely needs the internet to order products for their respective property or establishment. Similarly, a software engineer (classified as a symbolic analyst) will also need the internet to perform their daily tasks such as communicating with other coworkers. In the past, technology is what set the two divisions apart but it is now what bridges the categories together.
In regards to digital divides and inequalities, I think Jori brought up an effective point by relating it to the 4c’s (Content, Capability, Connectivity, and Context). Focusing on capability and using the same example as before, a janitor is likely to learn the technology necessary to order products online but is unlikely to expand his or her knowledge of other internet technologies simply because they don’t have to. A software engineer on the other hand will not only learn what is necessary to complete their job but will also utilize their knowledge in other online activities outside of the office. Although dependence on technology is what brings these categories together, the way in which it is used and applied ultimately sets them apart, further widening the digital divide.
Furthermore, Lisa brought up the different educational requirements that are necessary to become some sort of symbolic analyst versus being in the one of the other categories. To be considered symbolic analysts, a certain skill level must be achieved. The others require little to no prior training. This certainly contributes to racial ravines because white middle class Americans are much more likely to have specific opportunities for skill development while inner city ethnic minorities are not.
These opportunities to learn about technology and develop the skills ncecessary for real life applications creates the continuous cycle of technological inequalities across racial lines that we deal with today.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
(1) Routine production workers--> They workers use technology on a more basic level for entry level tasks such as data entry and processing. Examples of Routine Production Workers are factory workers and processors. These workers use technology but on a much more primitive level than other workers.
(2) In-person service workers--> These workers are service oriented who work more with people and providing services such as taxi drivers.
(3) Symbolic analysts--> These workers use technology on a more advanced basis than other workers, integrating and applying it in their work tasks. Examples of these kinds of workers are engineers, planners, consultants, etc.
Compared to the older jobs that put workers into blue and white collared jobs, these are more specific categorizations and involve a much greater use of technology. As workers move up from Routine to Symbolic, not only their access but their ability to apply this technology increases. This principle obviously touches on the digital divide in the workforce. Most importantly, I believe it's relevant to the 4c's (Content, Capability, Content, and Context). Not only do workers need the right materials and access to these technologies but they need the willingness to use them. Because there is little need for high tech practices in janitor work, it doesn't make sense for In-Person service workers to familiarize themselves with this technology. Because they don't have the need to use these materials, they are placed at a disadvantage compared to someone who uses these technologies everyday. For someone who uses high tech materials on a daily basis, they have the ability to carry over their practices into all aspects of their lives (research as consumers, education, access, etc.) whereas the other workers struggle to understand how to use these materials. It is in this way that the digital divide between these kinds of workers drastically impacts their lives beyond the work place.