Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Here's our video. We started out interviewing people, asking them how important the internet was in their lives... then we had a revelation, and we decided to try living without the internet (except for Learn @ UW and WiscMail) for three days to see what's it's like for people who don't have the same access we do.
The group members were Emily Kesner, Max Lohnhardt, Will Mayberry, Megan Moore, Lisa Moser, and Sara Newhouse.
Monday, April 27, 2009
LIS 202-Group Project UW College Library: A Third Place?
People in Group:DJ Nogalski, Andrew Nordstrom, Emily Osborne, Lauren Sorenson,
Jesse Susa, Leila Walker, and Vijay Pai
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
This can be related to "Legacy" in that the family in the documentary happens to be mainly African American mothers, trying to raise their family the best they can. The main focus of the movie is not how they can be helped by being given public access to information, but rather how they struggle to find jobs and earn a living. Their main priority to them is the success of their family, and they do not often take advantage of computer access given to them, as they are preoccupied with taking care of their children. This is a perfect example of what could be done: help give them information that they need about health, parenting, and education.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
· Understand the difference between stratification and normalization as it relates to technological diffusion.
The S-Curve model says that technologies have a slow rate of initial adoption, followed by a substantial surge that peaks when penetration levels reach saturation point and demand subsequently slows. Normalization says that as costs fall, technology becomes more simplified. At first those who initially adopt it are ahead of the curve, but eventually penetration becomes saturated and that prices fall so laggards catch up and technology becomes pervasive. Competitive markets will eventually even everything out, no government intervention needed. Stratification state that groups well networked via traditional forms of information and communication will maintain their edge in the digital economy. Those who have it are from higher socioeconomic status. Adoption of new technologies often reinforces economic advantages so the rich get richer. Without government intervention, new technology will exacerbate existing social divisions.
· What are the characteristics of people who are more likely to be online?Different levels of household income correlated strongly with internet use. There is also no sign of a closing of the digital divide in terms of income level. In terms of occupation managers and professionals are twice as likely to use the internet that other white collar jobs like clerical assistants and service sector employees and three times more like than manual workers. For education college educated individuals are much more likely to use the Internet and is considered by many the strongest determinant in internet use. Evidence of a gender gap in internet use remains inconclusive although many studies show woman are less likely to be online than men. In terms of age, the younger generations are using the internet more than older generations, especially in terms of senior citizens. All in all it seems that resource based inequalities have increased as internet use diffused more widely.
· What is meant by the tipping point?
-The tipping point = Rapid ethnic turnover.
"In many neighborhoods, an infusion of minorities prompted whites to leave and discouraged other whites from replacing them. Thus the proportion of minority-group members grew quickly, particularly after the minority group became the major force in the community. Real estate agents have historically abetted this process by "steering" purchasers to "live with their own kind." - page 7
Louise Robbins’ A Question of Access
Another important theme of Robbins' lecture (aside from racial stratification) was political context affecting fair access to information. She directed us to jimcrowhistory.org to learn about the effects of legal segregation.
But WWII was another major talking point. Superpatriotic groups during the war time put pressure on all citizens to conform. Also, postwar, in 1947 there were "loyalty investigations." In 1953, McCarthy attacked the overseas libraries of the US Information Agency to crack down on supposed communists.
These facts are all important because we can compare this to the political pressures of the Patriotic Act, and how these thus constrain library usage and information access. As Robbins pointed out, there are 3 requirements for participation in the global knowledge society: literacy (and numeracy), content, and access to that content (libraries, ICTs, transportation, intermediaries.) Without social or political freedom (especially proven historically by the effect of the Jim Crow law upon blacks), there is no access to content, and thus no participation.
- play games online
- do research to answer a question
- get sports scores online
- get religious/ spiritual information
- download music (1% less than hispanics though)
- do banking online
- participate in online auction
- buy a product online
- Overall penetration
- broadband use
- frequency of use
Monday, April 6, 2009
early adopters of new innovations are characteristically drawn from groups with higher socioeconomic statuses. This means the rich get richer and the less well-off sectors fall father behind, due to the fact that the poor don't get a chance to get the technology.
predicts that , at least in affluent post industrial societies, the social profile of the online community will gradually broaden over time. suggest that the internet could eventually become as popular as tv today.
Five days on the digital dirt road
“Five days on the digital dirt road” consisted with interviews and descriptions about Internet access circumstances, mostly in small towns of North Carolina. It divided into five days and interviewees are people living small towns of North Carolina and most of those towns are located in rural area, isolated from the big cities and digital advancement. On the other side, peoples are from different background; farmer, guest house owner, company researcher, so on and because of differences in their background, they show different concerns. However, the worries they have in common are caused from Internet access, which takes important role in nowadays. For instance, Jay Foushee, who is a retired farmer living in Person County, N. C. still uses dial-up internet connection and it works too slow to do basic things, such as checking an e-mail and doing homework for his daughter who goes junior high school. Not even speed problem, but poor Internet connection was affecting his daughter to take disadvantage in her schooling. Like Jay, many neighbor towns are having same difficulties and the phone and Internet companies have been avoiding providing high-speed Internet. The people who are interviewed point out that this disadvantage can bring a digital divide and it will bring worse situation – economic disadvantage – too. Because of its weak access, it would be difficult to catch attention of companies. To sum up, “Five days on the dirt road” shows how numbers of people in the U.S. are not getting advantage of digital advancement, specially the speed of Internet access and how it can be worsen digital divide.
van Dijk, J. and Hacker, K. (2003). The digital divide as a complex and dynamic phenomenon. Information Society, 19:315-326.
How does van Dijk define access?
- Mental Access--Lack of Elementary digital experience. Which is the uninterest of using a computer, lack of interest in new technology.
- Material Access--No possession of computers and network connections. Which is basically not having a computer or Internet.
- Skills Access--Lack of digital skills. Not having the adequate education to be able to use this access.
- Usage Access--Lack of significant usage opportunities.
What are the different types of digital skills?
- Instrumental Skills--"the ability to operate hardware and software"
- Informational Skills-- "skills od operating digital eqipment and skills of searching information using digital hardware and software."
- Strategic skills--"of using information for one's own purpose and position"
- Mental Access - lack of interest, computer anxiety, and unattractiveness of new technologies
- Material Access - lack of possession of hardware, computers, and network connections
- Skills Access - lack of digital skills, caused by inadequate literacy, education, or social support
- Usage Access - lack of opportunities in which to use ICTs
- Instrumental Skills - the ability to operate computer hardware and software
- Informational Skills - the ability to search for and recognize desired information
- Strategic Skills - using the information found for the individual's own purpose and position effectively
Bridging the Divide in the Spanish Speaking Community:
-This community is very diverse and has very different backgrounds and cultures
-They don't take advantage of libraries as much as anglos because they aren't accustomed to libraries being free
-Reach out - find out where they go (e.g. housing, worship, school organizations, etc.
-Make personal contact - don't let them wander!
-Incorporate signs and directions in spanish
-Location of spanish materials is important
-Have bilingual staff members, spanish classes in library, and put yourself in their shoes (people & social skills)
-Day care and transportation are issues
Crossing the Digital Divide
-Story of four different young members engaged in the technological world
-High Tech High - trains kids in computers and technological skills
-Young latino woman couldn't succeed in the business because she couldn't juggle the tasks of going to school, taking care of her family, and holding a job.
-Most well-off was girl from Silicon Valley, CA which is known for being at the forfront of technological advancement
-This movie sought to end the stereotypes surrounding digital advancement in Africa
-Internet is becoming the brain of African society
-Africa is a pioneer in math (e.g. the number bone)
-Some Africans question the impact it will have on their country
-Terrel, a promising student, was unexpectedly shot and killed - the neighborhood was going downhill
-Family: 3rd generation on welfare due to lack of education
-Cousin was trying to get out of the projects - puts all her effort into getting good grades so she can be the first in her family to go to college
-Obstacles like having to take care of her family keeps her mother unemployed
-Mother's plan is to go into computers, believing it holds the most promising future - but she couldn't make the meetings, and was dropped from the program
Warschauer notes that it is necessary for people to leap across the divide from the old reality to the new one in order to suceed. Though many people may see the digital divide as irrelevant and there is cynicism in regards to it, Warschauer is adament that ICT have contributed to the profound change in the real world we live in.
In terms of the three new categories of workers, (routine production, in-person service, and symbolic analysts) there is a different structure of class. Where before there were just two levels (blue collar and white collar) technology has breached the class structure in the United States and it has infultrated every aspect of work. Though it is different, the fundametals have stayed the same. Just like white collar workers of the past, to be a symbolic analyst, it is essential that you have the training. Where before it was skill training, now it is skill training using technology.
Regarding access...Access is not defined just by ownership of ICT or a computer/device. Device ownership does not constitute complete access because full ICT access in current times requires access to the internet as well as the skills necessary to use the internet and computer in socially valued ways.
Normalization is the idea that people will be able to catch up, though there is evidence out there to suggest that they will remain behind, as indicated by the digital divide, and that the groups who are already networked will maintain their edge.
In Social Inequalities, it was noted that two-thirds of the younger generation are online compared to one in ten of senior citizens. I found this to be striking, and that it says a lot about the so-called "normalized" diffusion of technology. It is clear from this statistic that those who did not grow up with computer access are more or less unwilling, or unable, to pick it up. So what does this say about minorities who do not have access to computers? It is likely that because they are allready technologically behind, due to poverty and unequal access, they will continue to be behind and that those who have access to the technologies will retain their edge.
The aryicle goes further to note that supporters of the normalization theory see the internet following the pattern of that of television infultration in the US. I found some key problems with this theory, in that internet use requires skills and training. You must know how to type, how to navigate the internet, how to use programs, and how to communicate in an online sphere. Television requires you to program a remote at best. They are just incomparable.
· How does Warschauer define access?
The two most common models of access are based on devices and conduits. Physical access to a computer or any other ICT device. Presence of a device is only a small part of how people can use ICT in their lives. Conduits: device is worthless unless you have the accompanying services. Harder to diffuse conduits than it is devices. Most important thing is a persons ability to make use of the device and conduit. Physical resources (access to computers and telecommunication connections), digital resources (Digital material that is made available online), human resources (literacy and education: being able to obtain the literary practices that are required for computer use and online communication), and social resources (community, institutional, and social structures that support access to ICT).
· What set of features and technologies describe the various industrial revolutions?
“post-Fordist” management techniques are used a flattened hierarchy, multi-skilled labor, team based work, and just-in-time production and distribution. Teams of multi-skilled employees grouping and regrouping to take on complex tasks. In the video they had a group of four working on a computer project in which they all had tasks, but worked as a group to complete them. Globalization is the idea that capital, production, management, labor, markets, technology, and information are organized across national boundaries. Click and mortar is the idea of businesses incorporating online communications into their day-to-day functioning. Uses ICT’s to gather, refine, and make instant use of customized information about its customer base, the broader market, production process, supply chain, distribution challenges, and service requirements.·
Define and understand the concept of informationalism.
Informationalism is the third industrial revolution, an information economy in which computers and the Internet play an essential enabling role. The four characteristics are: the driving role of science and technology for economic growth, a shift from material production to information processing, the emergence and expansion of new forms of networked industrial organization, and the rise of socioeconomic globalization.
· What are the new categories of workers (as opposed to the old categories of blue-collar and white-collar workers)? What do workers in the new categories do?
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 am 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 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.
“In the new economy, as explained by Reich, the principal division is no longer between blue- and white-collar workers but rather among three new categories: routine production workers (e.g., data processors, payroll clerks, and factory workers); in-person service workers (e.g. janitors, hospital attendants, taxi drivers); and symbolic analysts (e.g. software engineers, management consultants, strategic planners). Employees in all three categories may use computers or the Internet in their jobs, but the first two do so in routine ways (e.g. inventory checks, ordering products), whereas the last make use of ICT for analysis and interpretation of data, creation of new knowledge, international communication and collaboration, and development of complex multimedia products.” (p22)
What are the characteristics of people who are more likely to be online?
Income, Occupation, Education, Gender, and Generation are all explored in the article "Social Inequalities" by Pippa Norris.
The following are general characteristics from the article of people who are more likely to be online than others:
-Households with higher incomes are more likely to be online than those with lower incomes. "Falling Through the Net," a study that explored these characteristics, found that income was the strongest predictor of Internet access in America. The comparison between technologically advanced societies verses technologically lagging societies offers no support for the normalization thesis and that we should "not expect the income gap to close automatically as the Internet diffuses more widely throughout society.
-Individuals who work in professional or managerial positions are "twice as likely to use the Internet as those in other white collar jobs." However, the authors note that occupational status may become less important as Internet access becomes more widely available.
-One study suggests that "education was a stronger determinant of connectivity in America than any other demographic or social variable." This is probably more or less true because schools and colleges provide individuals with unparalleled opportunities for accessing technologies. Also, education improves overall literacy in students, ultimately allowing them to better utilize the Internet.
-Evidence about the gender gap remains inconclusive. It’s the weakest predictor of Internet use among all the factors considered. It’s becoming statistically insignificant.
-The generational gap will begin to flatten as more and more people are raised in the technological era.
**"The European evidence indicates a growing digital divide between the information-rich and poor during the emergent Internet era, in addition to the widening north-south global disparities documented in the previous chapter with no evidence to date that these gaps are starting to close or normalize in leading societies."**
-A quote from Pg. 86
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Louise Robbins': A Question of Access
Ms. Robbins discussed the accessibility of technology in the southern portion of the United States. In her PowerPoint she showed that southern states had little to no libraries which meant that there were no books or technology available to people of the South. Also, there was a lot of racial tension in the southern states in the 1930s-1960s which led to libraries for whites only (African Americans weren't allowed in libraries.) Ruth Brown was a firm believer in integration and she supplied library service to blacks. On one slide there is a picture of the cover of the book "The Rabbits' Wedding" by Garth Williams that had one black rabbit and one white rabbit together. This book was in circulation in a library in Alabama and a librarian almost lost her job because of it. All in all, this lecture discussed the issues of poor access, both in terms of not having enough libraries available to the public as well as the segregation of blacks in the library.
Compaine's main argument is that, like any other technology, the internet digital divide will close eventually. Radios, TVs and telephones have made their way into everyday life of most people in the country, and Compaine believes that the internet just has not had enough time to assimilate into society yet. Some things that he says are going to increase this adoption are:
1. That prices of computers, services, accessories, internet services etc. will drop, making them more affordable to more people.
2. Also, essentially you would be buying more for your buck. More and faster hard drives will be available for cheaper prices.
3. There would be an improved ease of use, making more people technology literate and more able to use the technology they purchase.
4. Adoption of these technologies is moving faster than any other technology, so more access would be available more quickly in more places.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
First Industrial Revolution (18th Century)
• Replacement of hand tools by machines in small workshops
• Followed the invention of the steam engine
Second Industrial Revolution (19th Century)
• Development of large scale factory production
• Followed the invention of electricity
Third Industrial Revolution (Informationalism)
• Informationalism: the emergence of a new stage of global capitalism which represents a third industrial revolution, began in the 1970s with telecommunications
o Distinguished from other revolutions by: Role of science and technology for economic growth, Shift from material to information processing, Emergence/ expansion of networked organizations, Rise of socioeconomic globalization
Access is defined in four different ways:
- mental access, which can be impeded by a lack of interest, computer anxiety, or the unattractiveness of new technology
- material access, or the possession of a computer with network connections
- skills access, or the ability to use computer programs and the social support and education to learn these skills
- usage access, or the opportunity to use the technology.
What are the different types of digital skills?
There are three types of digital skills: instrumental, informational, and strategic.
- Instrumental digital skills are those which include the ability to operate hardware and software.
- Informational skills include the ability to operate the equipment and search for information.
- Finally, strategic skills include using information for one’s own purpose.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Norris, P. (2001). “Understanding the digital divide” and “Social inequalities” in Pippa Norris, Digital divide: Civic engagement, information poverty, and the Internet worldwide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (26-38), (68-92).
• Understand the difference between stratification and normalization as it relates to technological diffusion.
o Stratification model – groups already well networked via traditional forms of information and communication technologies will maintain their edge in the digital economy.
o Normalization model –as costs fall, as the technology becomes simplifies allowing plug-and-play access, as the Web increasingly provides mass entertainment and cheap communications via streaming audio and video, the temporary gap will eventually close.
How does Warschauer define access?
Being able to use ICT for personally or socially meaningful ends
Examples of conduits- electricity, telephone service, cable television, Internet
There is a comparatively slow and difficult diffusion of conduits compared with devices
Literacy is now defined as the skills needed for functioning effectively in society
What set of features and technologies describe the various industrial revolutions?
1st industrial revolution followed invention of the steam engine in the eighteenth century, characterized by a replacement of hand tools by machines mostly in small workshops
2nd industrial revolution followed the harnessing of electricity in the nineteenth century and was characterized by the development of large-scale factory production
3rd industrial revolution followed the diffusion of the transistor, the personal computer, and telecommunications in the 1970s
Define and understand the concept of informationalism.
Informationalism is the new stage of global capitalism as we have an information economy in which computers and the Internet play an essential enabling role
Four features that distinguish informationalism from the prior industrial stage
the driving role of science and technology for economic growth
a shift from material production to information processing
the emergence and expansion of new forms of networked industrial organization
the rise of socioeconomic globalization
What are the new categories of workers (as opposed to the old categories of blue-collar and white-collar workers)? What do workers in the new categories do?
Routine production workers (data processors, payroll clerks, factory workers)
In-person service workers (janitors, taxi drivers)
Symbolic analysts (software engineers, management consultants, strategic planners)
These categories are based on computer and Internet usage, first two groups only use computers in routine ways, while symbolic analysts have specialized training and make advanced use of ICTs
Click and mortar- existing businesses that incorporate online communication into their day-to-day functioning (Dell is a good example)
Just in time production
Global economic stratification/Twin peaks income distribution- increasing gap between rich and poor countries as market value for high technology goods has increased while the market for low value primary commodities has fallen
Individual income gap also widening due to profits from the information and communications technology revolution
Inequality has remained relatively stable in poorest countries as they remain outside the ICT revolution
Computer-mediated communication has drastically changed
Long distance many to many communication
A global hypertext- information, sources put up by people