Accommodating diversity in computer science education
Moreover, mobiles are primarily used for voice calls and text messaging rather than for internet access.
Information is sourced from others in preference to the internet.
This has profound implications for how online content and information services ought to be designed to be more human-centred, simple and succinct.
Indeed, the utopian promise of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is that it will enable the delivery of rich, mediated face-to-face services that will not only appeal to the groups mentioned, but offer an inclusive experience to the 46% of Australians who are not prose literate.
Underlying these studies and other research on digital divides is an assumption that to be part of the 8% (probably more) who can’t or don’t use the internet is to be socially excluded or disadvantaged.
It implies the digital divide to be asymmetrical, constituted by a technologically adept majority, and a small minority of laggards.
Particularly those who have difficulty getting through a newspaper, or understanding the directions on a medicine bottle, or comprehending pages of online content.
Unfortunately, debates about the NBN, to date, have revolved around carriage: the wire and cables and how much data these will carry.
But if we dig a little deeper, the digital divide re-emerges.There has been less discussion about how it can facilitate more accessible content that is audio-visually rich, multi-lingual and has a low technical and financial threshold for engagement.