Week 4: Digital Divide

digital divide image

(Why Marche, 2014)

This week’s topic covered the digital divide issue. Digital divide is the gap between those who can afford and use digital technologies and those who cannot (Howell, 2012), and is represented in the infographic post below. Social-economic status (SES), accessibility, and infrastructure are factors that can impact a child’s digital knowledge and fluency, influencing their future career prospects and quality of life. Reflecting on this, my vision has expanded to clearly see the patterns that unfold within the digital divide, and why they can be difficult to rectify. For example, low SES families generally cannot afford technology, minimising their children’s ability to learn, and keep up with, the latest technologies. This stunts the child’s future career prospects, resulting in probable low-income employment in adulthood. They then produce offspring that are once again born into a family of low SES, and the cycle continues.

Nicholas Negroponte is inspirationally using his high SES and subsequent skillset for the greater good. He founded One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) in 2005 (Ted Talks, 2008) to help bridge the digital divide gap by developing manually powered laptops under a donation program, creating fair and equal opportunity for children of low SES countries and communities around the globe. OLPC in Australia has developed the program One Education (OLPC Australia, 2013) aiming to bridge the gap within Australia, which also compliments the first goal of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians: “Australian schooling promotes equity” (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008, p. 7).


Digital Divide and OLPC's solution




Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs [MCEETYA]. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Retrieved from http://www.mceecdya.edu.au/verve/_resources/National_Declaration_on_the_Educational_Goals_for_Young_Australians.pdf

One Laptop Per Child Australia. (2013). One Education. Retrieved from http://www.one-education.org

Ted Talks. (2008, June 27). Nicholas Negroponte: One Laptop per Child, two years on [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_TKjfgjiQs

Why Marche. (2014). Caution Digital Divide [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.whymarche.com/blog/2012/04/04/digital-divide-esiste-un-rimedio/


Week 3: Digital Security

(Kapsch, 2014)

(Kapsch, 2014)

(Sant Media, 2010)

(Sant Media, 2010)

Week three’s lecture video raised an interesting question about the true safety behind the padlock shown on websites (Howell, 2014). At the notion of possible identity theft, fear arose within me. Suddenly, I realised that although I had been very conscious about only pushing out my credit card information on websites containing these padlocks, I had never actually questioned what makes these websites secure. Awakening to my ignorance, I began researching what this ‘padlock’ is all about. I learnt the padlock symbol indicates that a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate has been issued by a third party, verifying the website’s authenticity. Furthermore, the data you enter is encrypted for secure information transfer (Gemalto, 2009). According to Sant Media (2010), however, some certificates only require minimal company information before they are issued. I feel this provides a window for possible fraud and weakens the security and trust factor of the padlock.

Whilst teaching my future students, I hope to alert them on the importance of being conscious consumers online to avoid identity theft, whilst simultaneously minimising a creation of fear about the cyber world, as this may deter them from participating altogether. I could achieve this by demonstrating practical ways to optimise security, such as clicking on the padlock to check the identity and validity of the company in question as well as the certificate authority (Gemalto, 2009).



Gemalto. (2009). What does the padlock at the bottom of some websites mean? Retrieved from http://www.justaskgemalto.com/en/surfing/tips/what-does-padlock-bottom-some-websites-mean

Howell, J. (2014). Living and learning in the digital world mod01 topic 04 [ilecture]. Retrieved from http://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8080/ess/echo/presentation/1636447f-aa10-42de-bec3-f6fe6f44932e

Kapsch. (2014). Digital security [Image]. Retrieved from http://follow.kapsch.net/en/details/article/security-in-the-digital-age.html

Sant Media. (2010, May 22). The Myths of Website security, SSL, and the padlock symbol. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.sant-media.co.uk/2010/05/the-myths-of-website-security-ssl-and-padlock-symbol/

Sant Media. (2010). Padlock [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.sant-media.co.uk/2010/05/the-myths-of-website-security-ssl-and-padlock-symbol/