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The Digital Divide

So what's the research on The Digital Divide, specifically what does it tell us we need to do differently (or better!) at North High.

America Unwired (Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 2009):

African Americans are the most active users of the mobile internet -- and their use of it is also growing the fastest. This means the digital divide between African Americans and white Americans diminishes when mobile use is taken into account.

  • 48% of Africans Americans have at one time used their mobile device to access the internet for information, emailing, or instant messaging, 50% higher than the national average of 32%.
  • 29% of African Americans use the internet on their handheld on an average day, also about half again the national average of 19%.
  • Compared with 2007, when 12% of African Americans used the internet on their mobile on the average day, use of the mobile internet is up by 141%.

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The Grio (Washington AP, November 2010) dealing specifically with broadband access:

Among the major findings:

  • 94.1%  of households with income exceeding $100,000 subscribed to broadband in 2009, compared with 35.8 percent of households with income of less than $25,000.
  • 84.5% of households with at least one college degree subscribed to broadband last year, compared with 28.8 percent of households without a high school degree.
  • 77.3% Asian-American households and 68 percent of non-Hispanic white households subscribed to broadband last year, compared with 49.4 percent of African-American households and 47.9 percent of Hispanic households.
  • 65.9% of urban households subscribed to broadband in 2009, compared with 51 percent of rural households.

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WHAT DO WE DO?!? We're trying to create a workforce that will hold up against other countries, and "If we give children better digital technology, we're much more likely to see the next generation of innovators like Steve Jobs develop," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (Nov. 2011)

Thankfully, most recently:

The Federal Communications Commission is launching a $4-billion program to narrow the digital divide by making high-speed Internet access and computers more affordable for more than 25 million mainly low-income Americans. Because of this program, we can direct any student who is enrolled in the free/reduced-price lunch program Reduced Price Internet.