Digital Divide and Digital Inequality

When I was a child, I recall my preference for books that contained text and graphics as opposed to books that only contained text. Indeed, I found that I learnt more from the books that contained words and illustrations. After reading concept of Multimedia Principles by Richard Meyer, I understand why I seemed to learn better from books words and illustrations.

These principles really have to do with how the brain processes information and can serve as a guide to creating content for students which could better aid in achieving learning outcomes.

However, the irony of all of this is that although academics have accepted this research on multimedia principles, most academic material continue to be written using formats such as APA, MLA, IEEE, and that is unlikely to change in the near future. I have often heard people declare their hatred of reading academic papers because the serif font and general layout are unappealing.

This assignment on the digital divide and digital inequality provided relevant statistical data and research to show how demographics in addition to several other factors can perpetuate the digital divide. The views of Hargittai (2003) on a contemporary definition for the digital inequality which considers measures for technical means, autonomy of use, social support networks, experience and skill are relevant in understanding how this inequality can persists although the gap in the digital divide may be closing.

His comparison to how literacy has changed from merely being able to sign one’s name was instructive since I live in a country where we boast of having 98% literacy which is a result of compulsory and free education until age 16. However, we should be cognizant of the definition of literacy that was used at the time the measure was conducted before boasting.

The readings stimulated my thoughts into further research and into preparing a presentation on how schools can assist in the rebalancing of digital inequality. Of course, I intend to employ all the principles of multimedia in my presentation.

As I seek to edify myself through this program of study, I hope to develop better graphic design skills which would assist in creating more effective presentations whether in MS PowerPoint or Haiku Deck.

View my Haiku Deck presentation HERE.


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