Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hsieh, Rai, Keil Article

Disadvantages groups often used the computer for entertainment purposes such as computer games and videos. Advantaged groups on the other hand used the computer in a more practical manner and in an instrumental way. This proves that self-efficiency and availability have an influence of the computer use of the disadvantaged. SES has a larger effect on the way people use the internet.

Final Exam review

Servon suggested several solutions for closing the digital divide. Be familiar with each of them.

These are some of the programs in Seattle focused on narrowing the digital divide: 
Seatlle Public Access Network (PAN) - electronic city hall, allowing Settle citizens to obtain city information and services electronically and to communicate with city officials
CTTAB - a planning body that serves as a tool of communication between mayor and citizens
CLAB - citizen's literacy and access fund - created a map for fiber infrastructure (for attracting new businesses) also a map for showing sites of technology initiatives.
The Archdiocesan Housing Authority (AHA) is another example of how the city is leveraging a federal program to extend its own resources. AHA has several different housing communities for diverse sectors of the community: elderly, adults, children, etc. It holds a variety of classes, seminars and workshops tailored to meet the specific needs of residents.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Final Review

Jaeger article

The high-speed connectivity is not evenly distributed across libraries or necessarily sufficient for increasingly bandwidth-intensive applications. Filters on public access workstations limit access to the internet. In general, patrons served by rural libraries have less access to workstations, non-filtered workstations, high-speed connectivity, and wireless internet services for patron-owned computer use. Firstly, there are considerable differences between the internet access in rural libraries and the access in other libraries. Second, access and bandwidth vary considerably on a state by state basis. Some states have much better access and bandwidth than others. Third, and perhaps most significantly, 85% of public libraries responded that there are times of the day when there are an inadequate number of workstations available for those who want to use them.
1. The degree to which it should be, or should not be, national policy to reduce these disparities and work toward providing equal access to internet information and services
2. The "rights" of citizens to adequate access of the internet and the range of information and services the internet allows
3. The societal or financial costs associated with digitally inclusive versus digitally exclusive

Final Exam Review

Just to start some conversation about the third exam, here is what I have for the readings from Week 12:

How did Elfreda Chatman's theories about Information Poverty and Life in the Round match the experiences of the Collins family in the documentary Legacy?
Information Poverty is defined as information needs and information-seeking behavior of marginalized populations use secrecy, deception, risk taking, and situational relevance.

>> "information poor perceive themselves to be devoid of any source that might help them": This is similar to the mother in Legacy because with every attempt to find a job, she ended up blaming it on lack of education, resources, or babysitters. Eventually, she went to get help from the welfare people but even after she found a good job interview- she ended up missing it because she had no one to watch her children.
>> "a decision to risk exposure about our true feelings is often not taken due to a perception that negative consequences outweigh benefits": This idea relates to Legacy as we see the various stages of each of the Collin's reactions to Tyrell's shootings. During the third part of legacy, we see many of them finally accepting and confronting feelings they have held back for many years since his shooting.

Life in the round is described as a public form of life in which things are implicitly understood. Encompasses the idea of insiders and outsiders.
>>"life in the round works most of the time with enough predictability that, unless a critical problem arises, there is no point in seeking information": This connects to themes from the film Legacy. In the third segment of the documentary, the Collin's family expresses that if Tyrell had never been shot none of them would have ever moved out of the dangerous neighborhood or gone back to finish their educations, get off drugs, and make more out of their lives.
>> "individuals will cross boundaries if the information is perceived as critical, there is a collective expectation that the information is relevant and a perception exists that the life lived in the round is no longer functioning": Following my last point, after Tyrell's shootings the Collin's family realized they had to implement change into their lives in order to overcome the tragedy they were faced with. Perhaps the mother would never have found the motivation to persistently seek to continue her education and get a job, maybe Nicole would have never completed high school and gone on to college, etc.

What were the issues Jaegar found that still continued the digital divide?
Nature of sufficient bandwidth and broadband: Jaegar states that having connectivity is not the same as having sufficient connectivity. In order to use many sites you need a minimal amount of bandwidth. Libraries continue to increase their bandwidth - but demand for increasing bandwidth due to more complex websites etc. goes up as well.

Internet access in libraries: In this article, it is mentioned that the federal government documented a range of disparities regarding access to the internet in terms of geographic location, race, income, and other factors. Studies show that there are still significant disparities across public libraries' access to internet in terms of geography and connectivity levels. Specifically, rural public libraries are much more likely to have lower levels of broadband connectivity than urban and suburban libraries. Rural areas also have access to lower connection speeds. Additionally, 85% of libraries have inadequate number of workstations to meet their demand

Role of libraries as e-government access points: "e-government" refers to an increasingly important connection between citizens and the government using online websites to transmit government information and services. This is important because as more and more information from the government is available exclusively online, there needs to be sufficient ways for every citizen to access them (and thus, the internet)

The complexities of funding internet access:The internet is not a one time purchase - it is an investment that requires ongoing expenses for service fees, updates, etc. yet many libraries have no financial plans for upgrades and so it is difficult to continue providing sufficient internet resources

The impacts and contradictions of filtering: Filters on public access workstations limit access to the internet which inhibits the way users rely on the library. Many general health sites cannot be accessed through filters, as well as other relevant information library users may want to research. The purpose of these filters is for children, so they can be taken off upon request but many librarians do not know how to take them off or it requires a written request by the person who wants to view blocked information. This causes problems because people may be embarrassed about the information they need to view, or are simply turned off by the presence of filters and just leave instead of getting the information they need. Futhermore, libraries that chose not to have filters can be denied discounts on internet services and federal funding.

The chilling effect of homeland security: Patriot Act that was enforced post-September 11 allows for all information on what library users check out, search on the internet, etc to be saved and viewed by the government. This can also make library users wary of using the internet etc for fear of being questioned about such material.

Other issues mentioned: need for training (for seniors, patrons without internet access at home, and adults seeking continuing education), sources of funding for technology, and questions of public policy

Bishop: What were the information needs of the members of this community? What were some of the barriers they faced?
The information needs related to health, parenting, leisure activities, and employment opportunities. Computer use appeared to be driven by the external demands of particular work, school or other task requirements. The barriers faced by this community involve not having a computer in their homes, or having one that was broken or outdated. Computers could be accessed at some schools but only for specific assignments or during allotted times. Of the small portion of homes that owned computers, many were not networked. As a result, the majority of this community had very limited computer experience. Since many residents did not have their own computers, if they wanted to use the internet they had limited options - one of which includes using public libraries. This means their use is limited by rules, the resources available at the library, filters, etc.

Central theme

A central theme I've gathered from the readings (specifically from Bishop and Servon) is that partnerships and collaboration are needed if we ever want to close the digital divide.

Servon mentions that increasing CTC availability is one of the most important things we can do. He recognizes that size and sustainability problems will arise when doing this. Partnerships is the way we can overcome these problems. Also, collaboration with schools and organizations is a necessesity.

Good luck on the final exam everyone

Thursday, April 30, 2009

By: Cassy, Ally, Olivia, Megan, Kris, and Dave

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

LIS Video Project by Sec. 305 - Group 1

This video's focus is on where UW-Madison students prefer to study, what their favorite third place is, and if any of these habits have changed since they first started school here.

Video by Jeremy, Jessica, Emily, Bill, Kyle, and Rebecca


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Group 3: Video Project on Digital Access

By Mayumi, Sammy, Joe, Pati, Zach, and Igor

Video Group #4

Our video focuses on what we found on our trip to the Madison Public Library,

By: Laura, Aaron, Mike, Drew, and Yufei

Monday, April 6, 2009

Exam 2: Main Points From Crossing the Divide

  • In order to thrive in the new workplace, it's important to understand the digital divide because technology is the "gateway to the new economy"
  • Showed that access to a computer at a young age was critical to success later on (in suburbs access was usually higher than intercity neighborhoods)
  • Communicated that blue-collar jobs no longer support a family and that the manufacturing age is over; information jobs are taking over and there are new skills needed in order to be successful in those fields
  • New Tech High School: created by educators and business people who wanted to prepare students technologically to succeed in the business world and provide them with connections and opportunities with jobs right out of high school. It was a project based curriculum where kids worked mainly in groups. They didn't, however, support extra curriculars and the library had no books. This brought up some criticism because some believe that a well-rounded education is important and that "schools shouldn't be about making a living but about making a life."
  • Barriers to main characters: economic status, language/cultural barriers, race, and lack of access to technology/information (mainly at a young age)

Midterm review

• What set of features and technologies describe the various industrial revolutions?
• Revolutions:
• 1) Steam engine (18th century) – replacement of hands by tools (machines). Workplace: workshop. Organization structure: serve forever
• 2) Development of large-scale factory (late 19th century) – electricity, telephone, engine (car). Workplace: factories (massive productions), more people involved in labor. Organization structure: large vertical hierarchy, factory, and assembly line.
• 3) Informationalism (late 20th century). Key tech: personal computers, Internet. Workplace: offices. Org structure: horizontal networks
• Define and understand the concept of informationalism – emergence of a new stage of global capitalism. It takes place during the 1970’s with the surging of personal computers and telecommunications. There are four features that distinguish Informationalism:
A) The driving of science and technology of economic growth
B) A shift from material production to information processing
C) The emergence and expansion of new forms of networked industrial organizations
D) A rise of socioeconomic globalization
• What are the new categories of workers (as opposed to the old categories of blue-collar and white-collar workers)? The new categories of workers are A) Routing production workers: labor work just like blue-collar workers
• B) In-person service workers: customer service that requires some knowledge but it is very basic
• C) Symbolic analysts: require knowledge and expertise

Exam Review #2

Understand the difference between stratification and normalization as it relates to technological diffusion

Both are theories of how the internet will diffuse into the rest of society
  • Normalization
Optimistic view
Those who adapt to innovations early will be ahead of the curve and at the beginning social inequalities will widen the digital divide.
However, gap only temporary as eventually penetration will become saturated and prices will drop making the technology more readily available to everyone
The gap then closes and everyone is equal and on the same level technology wise.
  • Stratification
Pessimistic view
Those already well networked with technology will maintain their edge and those lagging behind will always be at a disadvantage.
The digital divide will never close

What are the characteristics of people who are most likely to be online?
The most general characteristics include...
  • White
  • Educated
  • Young
Other characteristics like gender do not play as big of a part. However, social class can greatly affect individual's access and capability to use the internet as well.

Exam 2 Review

Van Dijk defines access as four compnents:
  • Mental Access - lack of interest, computer anxiety, and unattractiveness of new technologies
  • Material Access - not having the possession of hardware, computers, and network connections that are required
  • Skills Access - lacking digital skills because of inadequate literacy, education, or social support
  • Usage Access - not having the opportunities in which to use ICTs

Exam 2 review

(My little disclaimer here. I'm answering these questions based on my memory. I think the answers are accurate but would feel better if someone could leave a comment either commending me for giving a right answer or cussing me out because I gave false information, don't be shy, you can use four letter words.)

What factors does Compaine suggest increase the adoption of computer and internet use?

One of Compaine's main examples was how he bought a PC in 1980 and how it was prohibitively expensive and offered very little in the way of services and programs. He then bought another computer later, it was slightly cheaper and offered a heck of a lot more power. He then compared his computer to those that were available at the time his article was written, those computers were even more powerful and cheaper than the one he had bought a few years earlier. The conclusion he drew from this was that as technology progresses it becomes cheaper and more affordable which allows those who are poorer to acquire the technology.

How does Compaine describe access in this article

Compaine describes access in this article as having the object. This is very convenient because this allows you to give a laptop to people in third world countries and say, "He is now enlightened!" and then leave. Being able to actually utilize the technology is not part of Compaine's definition. Granted, you will become more efficient at using the technology the more you mess around with it...

How does James's critique differ from Compaine's?

James does not believe that the problems associated with the digital divide have been solved. He also defines access differently (I think). He believes that access is having the technology and the know-how to utilize it. He does not believe the digital divide is something that will work itself out without external assistance.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Information Society

van Dijk, J. and Hacker, K. (2003). The digital divide as a complex and dynamic phenomenon. Information Society, 19:315-326.

How does van Dijk define access?

From pg 315—316
1.“Lack of elementary digital experience caused by lack of interest, computer anxiety, and unattractiveness of the new technology (“mental access”)”
2.“No possession of computers and network connections (“material access”)”
3.“Lack of digital skills caused by insufficient user friendliness and inadequate education or social support (“skills access”)”
4.“Lack of significant usage opportunities (“usage access”)”

What are the different types of digital skills?

From pg 319
Instrumental skills: “the ability to operate hardware and software”
Informational skills: “operating digital equipment and…searching information using digital hardware and software”
Strategic skills: “using information for one’s own purpose and position”

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Exam 2 review

How does Warschauer define access?
  • Ownership of a computing device is only a part of ICT access. ICT access also requires connection to the Internet as well as the skills and understanding to use the computer and the Internet socially valued ways
What set of features and technologies describe the various industrial revolutions?
  • The first industrial revolution followed the invention of the steam engine in the eighteenth century and was characterized by the replacement of hand tools by machines, mostly in small terized by the replacement of hand tools by machines, mostly in small workshops.
  • The second followed the harnessing of electricity in the nineteenth century and was characterized by the development of large-scale factory production.
  • The third revolution came to fruition in the 1970s with the diffusionof the transistor, the personal computer, and the telecommunications.
Define and understand the concept of informationalism.
  • Informationalism represents a third industrial revolution. It has four features: the driving role of science and technology for economic growth; a shift from material production to information processing; the emergence and expansion of new forms of networked industrial organization; and the rise of socioeconomic globalization.

What are the new categories of workers? What do they do?

  • In person service workers( janitors, hospital attendants, taxi drivers) routine production workters ( data processors, payroll clerks, and factory workers) symbolic analysts ( software engineers, management consultants, strategic planners)
  • They may use computers or the Internet in their jobs, but the first two do so in routine ways, whereas the last make use of ICT for analysis and interpretation of data; creation of new knowledge; international communication and collaboration; and development of complex mutimedia products.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today, I was doing some work for my dad's construction company. I had to call companies he works with and make sure we had their current email address. As I was making the calls, I came across a company where the owner informed me that he didnt have an email address. He explained to me that due to the location of the company, the didnt have access to the Internet and it was too expanesive for them to drive to a location that did and check the email everyday. Instead, they just ask people to contact them by phone. He said that they were hoping to somehow get email in the near future and they would inform my dad's company as soon as they did. I found it interesting that the company was able to survive without email. I know that my dad's company sends out all their information via email and that is how they receive information as well. I wonder if this company isnt receiving this important information or if other companies are all taking the time to call them each time there is an update.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

AWESOME little segment

Above is a link to an 8 minutes video of "Shift Happens." The theme of the video completely parallels what we have discussed in class and discussion about the Third Revolution of technological change. The statistics are amazing, and a little daunting, but please take 8 minutes out of your day to watch this clip!!

Olivia Halls
Section 305

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Movie Response - Wildcard

At the beginning of the movie, I thought that the concept of the “New Tech” school was great. It was giving these students an edge on technology that the majority of the nation’s schools can’t provide, but as the movie continued, I was drawn farther and farther from the idea. I think the major problem with this system was shown through comparing the two teens that graduated. The one teen graduated with exemplary recognition and went on to a well-known technology institution. It’s obvious that the “New Tech” concept worked to his advantage. On the other hand, the other teen barely managed to graduate, and it seemed that he had many struggles while attending this high school. Although he was given a background in a specific type of technology, it may not benefit him in the future, which would make a complete waste out of the time, money, and other resources needed to give a “high-tech” education. I think it is absurd to think that all students learn in the same way, or even share the same interests for that matter. To me, life is about balance – the more balanced everything is, the better it works out for the majority of the population. This high school was far from being balanced. Our society is on the verge of a technology wave, but that doesn’t mean the ways of the past should be forgotten. For example, when I am doing a research paper, the first place I look for resources is the internet. As an engineer, much of my research calls for scholarly journals, most of which are not available online. I physically have to walk to the library where much of these resources are available. These students will have no such background. What if they can’t find what they’re looking for in their digital library, would they ever know where to look? It’s probable they don’t even know what the Dewey Decimal System is or how resources are archived. Having a library that contains both written material and digital material would allow all students to have a well-rounded background. On the same note, why can’t a school with high regards to technology also have athletics and other extracurricular activities? I feel that in the scheme of trying to expose students to one item, the school has completely forgotten about everything else student should be learning, and even more importantly experiencing, in high school. It just seems that this type of concept would produce a student body lacking individualism and whose educational background is way too focused for the majority of jobs available. We still need car mechanics, builders, and many other occupations that are not technology based, and classes which offer a hands-on approach are best suited for these types of positions. I would recommend to this high school that these types of disciplines not be forgotten, but rather offered in equally with regards to the other technology disciplines. A balanced and diverse student body with a background in technology will benefit society the greatest in the future.

Movie Response One

The four high school students, Luisa, Sidra, Travis, and Kep were all shown to be students with motivation and went beyond a normal teenager at the time to discover what technology had to offer. The ability to use technology, especially computers, benefited each student. However it was still hard to bridge the digital divide for some of the students no matter how much technology was incorporated into their lives. 
Luisa came from an area of low family income and was brought up on gangs. She was motivated enough to take multiple media and technology classes available to her, which helped her stray from the dangers of her neighborhood. But, because she grew up poor she didn't have the resources to purchase her own computer. This forced her to work as much as possible and as a results her grades suffered. She also missed the job at a technology firm. Luisa tried to bridge the digital divide it was too hard, despite being exposed to technology and was one of the few teenagers to pursue this, she was still unable to succeed how she wanted to because of her environment. 
Travis also grew up without money and in a single parent household. Even though he attended CalTech he barely graduated and could not afford to go to college, despite him being a bright student. Being financially deprived is the reason he was not able to go to college. His motivation to pursue a career in technology couldn't be taken to the next level because of this. 
There are multiple factors besides technology that influenced the future of the four high schoolers. It is very unfortunate that hard work and motivation during this time could not take Travis and Luis to the next level. To me it was a given that Sidra would go to a good school because of her family background and upbringing. Also, Kep was the American Dream story so it was favored that he would go to a good school with scholarships. I do believe technology influenced each of the four students, but it is unfortunate that income played a role in their happiness and future, despite being motivated, helpful, and bright students.

Prompt 5 Response

In the movie "Crossing the Divide," it was clear how financially disadvantaged neighborhoods and families often have harder time finding access to the internet in addition to many other tools to further their education. 
This was probably what came to my attention and what I identified the most with in my high school. Kids who come from lower income families who did not grow up in this environment or whose parents' jobs do not necessarily require it - have a harder time adjusting this technology to their daily activities and lives. So from that perspective, what the movie showed was very similar to my high school. 
The movie also touched on the fact that there are other issues influencing their trajectory to a better future in which technology cannot solve. In my opinion, at least from what I experienced when I went to my high school as a sophomore coming from Brazil, there's just not enough motivation to go to college afterwards or even to get a diploma. There are very low academic expectations for minorities such as latinos from parents, counselors - that blended with the peer pressure to avoid school - makes it very challenging for a latino to pursue a good academic path.  
Technology of course does not provide an ultimate solution for it, attitude amongst other things plays a huge role on it - however, what I felt that helped me a lot through high school to not fall away on my path to college was information. I felt that I was informed of my opportunities and chances for the future while some of other classmates seemed not aware of the different possible futures they could pursue. I learned a lot of the information through the internet. 
So just as information helped a lot of these kids from the film become successful in the workforce, it does not guarantee it - it is just a tool. As a proof of that are the other kids who had other factors (such as financial problems or peer pressure) weigh heavier in their decisions. I saw the same things in my high school with peers, and in my opinion, attitude is the most important factor although internet and other information tools are absolutely essential in influencing attitude - and maximizing an individual's productivity on a workforce.

The Challenges of Life: Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Prompt #1:

The influences in the lives of these students outside of their technology education all affect them, however the education can still play an important role in finding a solution to their problems. For Luisa, her technology education has not helped her get the specific job she wanted or to graduate yet, but eventually this will help. Her time tutoring students has developed her interpersonal and leadership skills and she can still tap into her computer education to graduate and find a different job, although it will take longer than she had hoped. In the long run these extra struggles will make her stronger and teach her how to balance time and to organize and her intrinsic skills as a worker will allow her to excel once her specific knowledge does develop well enough to graduate and get a job. This is similar to things I have seen in the military.

Individuals who had multiple experiences and challenges before joining the Navy were able to develop and advance faster than there peers. For me, having attended a good high school in Wisconsin helped me to develop academic skills that I used to develop my job skills. This was also true for people who went to college before they joined or had a background in their career field before they joined. Having participated in several extraciriculars and holding part-time jobs helped develop my organizational skills which helped me take on more responsibilities. I saw a similar effect in people who had to take on extra responsibilities at home such as child rearing or contributing to the household income. This is the sort of application that I believe helped Kep to excel the way he did.

Having a stressful transition to the United States, working in the family business, and learning English were all additional stresses that taught him to apply himself beyond the normal responsibilities of someone his age. Whereas Kep's extra-education was thrust upon him by circumstance (and he answered the challange remarkably) Sidra has been able to do the same voluntarily. By working as an editor for her school newspaper and apparently being part of other student activities she was able to develop in similar ways. This skills will help both of them in college. Travis's home life has had some of this but, in the short term it appears to have slowed him down. However, when he does go to school he will enter more experienced and more mature. In his case, I would reccomend the service and to enlist in a computer field. His eduacation and computer training will propel him into greater responsibilities and they will in turn, develop his overall abilities to be used in his future career.

On the whole, the variety of circumstance for four students that were provided training in technology will only be temporary impediments. The key in all four was access to the training.

Movie prompt 5 ;)

Things in this film looked dramatically different from my school experience. Perhaps it was the gap in years from this film to my high school graduation, but there was definitely a change. The one girl mentioned she had her first multimedia class her sophomore year of high school. To me, that was completely different than what I experienced. Even in elementary school we had computer time once a week with old clunky computers that printed on the paper with the ends you needed to tear off. It was basic things like arithmetic and a possible one page paper, but to us, it was great. We certainly didn't have to wait until high school for multimedia either, we had various coursed throughout school, and in sixth grade we had to develop our own web page.
This reminds me of another line from the film about how each generation receives more of an information benefit than its predecessor. I think that will always be the case. My brother was the first person in our family to buy a computer, and due to him buying it, I now had access to his. Every parent wants to provide the best for their children, so they get them the most modern things available, so the child has the most advantages, even over the parents. In Tracie Hall's paper the grandmother comments that she "never had nothin like this", and that was just a public library, look how far we've come since.
While things in the movie did seem outdated (the hairstyles), it just shows how quickly things change in the digital age. I often hear people talk about their younger siblings getting a cell phone or something at a much younger age than they did. As the movie stated access to the web is access to the world, and the time of a strong back and hardworking person being the epitome of a good employee are over. The American world is a competitive world in which every advantage is necessary.


PS: Did anyone else notice the high school guys were all going directly into business and the girls were teaching others and tutoring younger kids?

Movie Review

Prompt #2

At first, access seemed to be difficult for Luisa, Kep, and Travis, with only Sidra having simple access to a computer at home. Throughout class, we have learned that individuals and families with a lower income and poorer English language skills are less likely to have connectivity and are less likely to take advantage of their capability. Luisa's and Travis' lack of access could be based on their family's lower income and the fact that hardly any regular public high schools had full internet access. Kep's lack of access to the internet or a computer could be traced to his status as an immigrant, and the fact that some of his family did not speak English well or at all. 

On the other hand, Sidra comes from upper-middle class parents, and also lives in Silicon Valley where her high school was one of the first in the country to offer internet access to all of its students. Her connectivity and capability were both high as she readily used the internet at home and at school.

As the movie progressed, so did the availability for internet access for Luisa, Travis, and Kep. Luisa's connectivity was based on her hard work and determination to save up for a computer of her own to have in her home. Travis and Kep both decided to attend High Tech School where there is more than one computer available to each student.

In my opinion, High Tech School did not offer a full education. Almost everything was based around computers, with no English, Music, or Art departments. In today's technology crazy world, computer experience is very important to finding a job, but decent English skills, like reading and writing, are also vital in everyday life. Advanced computer skills can help you get a job, but in my opinion, English skills will help you keep one.