benefits of bridging digital divide

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hud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide Many e-society benefits are even stronger in poor countries Shop/learn/book/vote/etc at home » Especially valuable if travel is difficult » Limited choice even in major cities? » Avoid huge queues at train

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Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide. Many e-society benefits are even stronger in poor countries Shop/learn/book/vote/etc at home Especially valuable if travel is difficult Limited choice even in major cities? Avoid huge queues at train stations, etc. Information provision. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 1

Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Many e-society benefits are even stronger in poor countries

Shop/learn/book/vote/etc at home» Especially valuable if travel is difficult» Limited choice even in major cities?» Avoid huge queues at train stations, etc

Page 2: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 2

Information provision Big benefit to making info available

» Prices (which port pays most for fish?)» Service updates (eg, trains)» Govt info: rules, announcements, etc» Educational material

– Internet fantastic for academics in poor countries» Health advice» etc

Page 3: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 3

Commercial Benefits Outsourcing: Web makes it easier for

people in India, etc to provide services for people in wealthy countries» More well-paid (by Indian standard) jobs

Cheaper purchasing» Not at mercy of local monopolists

Page 4: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 4

Political benefits? Bureaucratic corruption, incompetent,

indifference often huge problem» Can Web help reduce this?

Political repression major problem» Can Web help reduce this

Controversial

Page 5: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 5

Discussion Comments from class members ?

especially from diverse countries

Page 6: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 6

Digital Divide: UK

Internet Access in UK Does Digital Exclusion hurt people? Can Net/Web help underclass?

Page 7: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 7

Internet Access in UK 70% of UK households have Internet

access» 63% have broadband

Who does not have access?» “digitally excluded”

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/iahi0809.pdf Generally: People who use it use it a lot

Page 8: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 8

Age matters most Proportion never used Internet

» 16-24: very small» 25-44: 5%» 45-54: 16%» 55-64: 24%» 65+: 64%

Page 9: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 9

Education also matters Household Internet access

» 95% of adults with degrees (<70 years)» 52% of adults with no quals (<70 years)

Page 10: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 10

Disabilities matter? In 2004, only 30% of disabled adults

had Internet access» Compared to 50% overall in 2004» Don’t know what 2009 figures are, I

assume gap persists

Page 11: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 11

Does poverty matter? When asked why their household does

not have Internet access, 25% say too expensive» But govt provides free Internet access in

public libraries, which is not heavily used» So not just poverty…

Page 12: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 12

Why people say no access 34%: don’t need it 24%: don’t want it 15%: equipment too expensive 15%: lack skills 11%: access (phone/broadband) too exp 10%: have access elsewhere

Page 13: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 13

Why no access Quotes from Demos report

» I’d love to give it a go, I just don’t know where to start

» Just stick to what you know, that’s what I say

» You can’t miss what you never had» I’m a big fan of using the Internet to send

pictures long distance to family, I just don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it

Page 14: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 14

Access mostly at home Use Internet

» At home: 94%» At work: 43%» Someone else’s home: 28%» School, uni: 15%» Internet café: 6% » Library: 5%

Public access (library) not too common

Page 15: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 15

Does location matter? Five years ago, many rural areas did

not have good Internet access Difference in rural/urban household

Internet access not clear from statistics

Page 16: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 16

Mobile access less common

Access Internet via» Laptop with wireless: 26%» 2G mobile: 18%» 3G mobile: 8%

Different from many third-world countries, where most people access net via mobiles

Page 17: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 17

Summary Who does not use Internet Elderly, poorly educated, disabled

» don’t want to change» lack skills to use Internet, scared of it?

– Put off by jargon: eg, “blog” vs “diary”» harder to use net because of disabilities?

– Head-switch vs mouse

Page 18: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 18

Child with Head Switch

Page 19: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 19

Many exceptions!! Many elderly, poorly educated, disabled

people use the Internet every day!» Vera (76): I’ve only been using computers

for a couple of years, and it took some convincing to get started, but now Iove it

Statistical generalisations, not absolute laws

Page 20: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 20

Impact Does “digital exclusion” hurt people?

» Keep in mind elderly, disabled, poorly educated are already “bottom of the heap”

How would Internet access help these people?

Page 21: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 21

Benefits of E-Society Cheaper, better goods

» Elderly, disabled have hard time shopping around

More social interaction via email, etc» Elderly, disabled often isolated

Better education, work prospects» For poorly educated

Page 22: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 22

Costs of E-Society Fears that digitally excluded will be left

behind as society goes digital» Worse access to govt services» Closure of local bookstores, etc because of

e-competition» Feeling left behind in general, as society

embraces the web/net– Enhance social isolation

Page 23: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 23

Govt programs Many govt initiatives

» Provide computers to poor people, especially young people

» Provide computers in community centres, libraries

» Subsidise broadband in rural areas UK has Minister for Digital Inclusion

» Not clear to me what he does…

Page 24: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 24

Example: Social Isolation Many elderly people in UK live on their own,

away from family» Really want contact with (grand)children

Internet can help» Email, Skype, social networks, …

Internet can hurt» Grandchildren not interested in face-to-face visits

How do you interact with your (grand)parents» Does Internet help or hurt?

Page 25: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 25

Can Net help solve social prob

One of UK’s biggest problem is “underclass”» 20% of population who live in sink estates,

can’t read, can’t get a job, etc Can net/web/e-society help such people

Page 26: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 26

SkillSum again Reminder: research project to assess

people with poor reading and maths skills» Web-based» Encourage people to get help if appropriate

Didn’t work well because of IPR/face-to-face issues

Would it help if it did work?

Page 27: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 27

Yes it would help Helping the underclass get good jobs is

the best way to help them They cannot get decent jobs if they

cannot read or do basic maths E-learning can help them acquire these

skills

Page 28: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 28

No it won’t help Other problems need to be solved Kate X (16 yrs old, bright, uneducated)

» Main barrier is that her peers beat her up (hospitalise her) if she seems to take her education seriously

Brian Y (17 yrs old, bright, uneducated)» Doing well, learning reading/maths; but

wants to be a plumber and there aren’t any such jobs locally (and he won’t move)

Page 29: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 29

Stories Jane Z (24 yrs old, avg intelligence)

» Working as shop assistant, can’t get better job unless improve reading/maths

» Drug addict: trying to quit, but borrowed money from local pusher at loan shark rates, cannot pay this off, pusher’s goons attacked her boyfriend for non-payment

» Hard to help her until drug problem resolved

Page 30: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 30

Can we help E-Society limited help to people who are

truly bottom of heap?» E-Society in third-world countries: not

much help to people who are worried about getting enough to eat

» E-Society in UK: not much help to drug addict in debt thralldom to local pusher

More help to people who have more moderate problems?

Page 31: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 31

Other ways of helping E-govt: better access to benefits, social

housing E-commerce: easier to apply for jobs,

more aware of jobs outside local area E-health: info on diet, smoking, etc Do these work?

Page 32: Benefits of Bridging Digital Divide

Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen 32

Class opinions? Can we use net/web/e-society to help

the underclass? Or is this pointless because it doesn’t

address the “real” underlying problems?