Sunday, May 3, 2009

Building the Bridge: Learning from Seattle." in Bridging the digital divide: Technology, community and public policy

Your assignment, in preparation for our final, is to thoroughly discuss the remaining articles via our blog. Our collaboration will make the entire review a lot more productive for everyone.

Keep the following tasks in mind as you're blogging the article:

1.)Provide a summary
2.)Define key terms
3.)Analyze potentially weak points in the author’s argument
4.)Compare your article to our past readings
5.)Read the other groups’ blog posts and comparing it to your article
6.)Relate your article to the larger themes from the class

Feel free to comment on any other group's blog discussions as well. You should be reading them anyway, and providing extra commentary will help us all.

In addition, we'll be distributing a study guide later. Please use this same blog space to discuss that guide.


  1. Key Terms
    1. Seattle's Information Technology Indicator Project- indicator that will measure the impact of information technologies on the health and vitality of the city

    2. Technology Matching Fund- provides resources to Seattle's neighborhood-based and citywide organizations for citizen-driven technology literacy and access projects

    3. Citizens' Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board- makes recommendations to the mayor and city council on issues of community-wide interest relating to telecommunications and technology

    4. Citizens' Literacy and Access Fund- fund to increase literacy and narrow the digital divide

    5. Archdiocesan Housing Authority- largest provider of permanent low-income and emergency housing in the Puget Sound region

    6. Seattle Community Technology Alliance- goal is to ensure that technology opportunities are available to Seattle's underserved communities

    7. CTC- community technology center

    8. NPower- leading IT technical assistance provider to nonprofit organizations in the Puget Sound region

    9. Seattle Community Network- one of the first community networks to be initiated offering free email accounts and website space

    10. IT- information technology

  2. summary of conclusion is that this case is talking about CTC's and how they can't close the digital divide on their own but that they need help, which is demonstrated in the Seattle case. The practices being used are helping to change the local government a little but its better then nothing and the hope that it will continue. They're trying to bridge the two separate thoughts that money must be spent on technology or housing, and trying to do a little of both and trying to do so without outside pressure. The last sentence of the article states it well when it says, "The key for all regions is to create a process in which these community-based projects can be used to guide policy development."

  3. #4

    Compared to the other readings, I thought that this article was more interesting to read. Instead of just talking about how the digital divide was a problem in many different areas or to specific ethnic groups, this one talked about how Seattle found a way to change that. In contrast to the other articles, which listed problems and sometimes hypothetical solutions, this article explained what Seattle's problems were, listed the city's goals, and showed how they worked to fix (or at least reduce) those problems.

  4. One weak point I found in the author's argument was that this would take a lot of economic resources from other cities. Seattle started this initiative to end the digital divide early in the race for technology and now, with the economic depression, state and city governments are just trying to stay afloat. Many cities face other problems, such as crime and education deficits that they do not necessarily have the time or money to address the problem of the digital divide as directly as Seattle seems to have done. All of the initiatives that Seattle has done seem to be very effective, but right now, I don't think that cities and states are in a place to even have time to address this problem. I wish the author had included more ideas that were less government and money intensive.

  5. 2) Summary as a whole

    Seattle residents that were less likely to have access to computers are the elderly, low-income families, the less-educated, and people of african-american/latino decent. Some of the solutions that various organizations in Seattle designed to help close the digital divide include Seattle Public Access, and CTTAB, which makes tech-based recommendations to the city council based on the communities needs. They have a commitment to universal technological literacy. Seattle is not a typical case, but should be considered a role model in broadening technological access and literacy to bridge the digital divide. In relation to the Collins family, this would benefit them. Any family in their disadvantaged state would benefit from extra help to become informationally literate and gain the access needed to succeed.