The Digital Divide

This week’s topic required the production of an infographic and served two purposes, including learning how to design an infographic and learning about the existence of digital participation and digital divide in Australia and around the world.

Firstly I researched ‘what is an infographic’. I developed the basic understanding that it is a visual representation of information using graphs and images, and is intended to show information that can be easily viewed and interpreted without the use of too much text (visual.ly, 2014). With this in mind I was able to formulate an idea of the information about digital divide that I needed to look for in order to make my presentation informative and easy to follow, as well as ensure that the text I did use was concise enough to explain and complement my image use.

Secondly, I searched for facts and statistics about how Australians compare in the use of digital devices and applications and decided to focus on the use and access to internet and smartphones. In my search for facts that would represent the topic well, I made several discoveries; however none that really surprised me:

  • 2/3 of the Australian population own a smartphone (Godfrey, 2013)
  • Less that 5% of 14-17 year old Australians do not use the internet, whilst 40% of Australians over the age of 65 do not use the internet, (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2011)
  • Australia is up there with other countries in the number of households with internet connection (approximately 72%) (ABS, 2011)

Featured imageWhilst I didn’t receive any direct feedback for my infographic, I did consider some of the general advice that was given by ensuring that the amount of text is kept to a minimum. Whilst viewing the posts of some of my peers it was certainly apparent when there was minimal text, that it helped focus my attention on interpreting the facts presented in the graphs and charts included.  Piktograph was a little complex to use, but certainly with good scaffolding and opportunity to ‘play’ would be suitable for upper primary onward.  It could be used by students, following a research topic, to present data or key information to the class.

Through the application of the various digital technologies in teaching and learning, teachers can help narrow the digital divide, by providing students the opportunity to develop digital knowledge and fluency (Howell, 2014), an opportunity that may not exist at home.  Some of the more general technologies which could easily be used in classrooms may include word processing, spreadsheets, web searches, ipads and perhaps in the later years, social networking.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). Households with internet access, selected OECD countries – 2009 (a). Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features50Jun+2011

Godfrey, M. (2013, July 29). Two-thirds of Aussies own a smartphone: report. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/twothirds-of-aussies-own-a-smartphone-report-20130729-2quj1.html

Howell, J. (2014). Teaching with ICT: digital pedagogies for collaboration & creativity. Melbourne, VIC. Oxford University Press.

PRWeb. (1997-2013). Small Business Marketing Secret – Bridge the Digital Divide. Retrieved from http://www.bloggingprweb.com/small-business-marketing-digital-bridge

Visual.ly (2014). What is an Infographic. Retrieved from http://visual.ly/what-is-an-infographic

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