Digital Divides

Stephen Downes posted over at the OLDaily list the article about worst uses for ICT in the classroom – which lead me to another article at the same blog called The Second Digital Divide. That article basically says that there’s not only an issue with those who have access to digital technology (and those who have not) but the haves and have-nots of skills to use the digital technology. There’s also a third digital divide, those who have the proper mindset of the affective domain towards technology. The first two divides can be lessened by throwing money and time at it, but the third divide, requires a shift in attitude. That requires an approach like the Elaboration Likelihood Model to persuade those who think technology is useless, or not for them, away from that model.

At times you get students, often second career students, who have no use for e-learning, no real concept of using the computer for anything other than word processing. Most of the time these students are open to new challenges. Then, there are the few who are stubborn in their refusal to learn anything related to the computer. Then there’s people who are in the middle, scared of identity theft, trying to make sense of old-world media that are often no more reliable than the current offering on Twitter and blogs. They’ve been partially left behind by the changing media landscape, not quite in the background, not in the foreground – but in the middle (just out of focus).