digital divide in united states, technology

Americans get so caught up in their use of smart phones, laptops, and tablets that we often take access to technology for granted. Many of us think that having Internet access is a given. We can’t imagine going about our daily lives without Internet, let alone without a computer. But many Americans are less concerned about their favorite new Internet app than about actually paying for Internet. The concept of a digital divide is often thought of on a global scale so the divide in the U.S. is often overlooked; but, the F.C.C. is taking on the digital divide here in the U.S. 

The New York Times outlines the program but we provide an overview here for quick reference: With the help of tech companies who will provide software and major cable and Internet providers the F.C.C. is working to bring Internet access to low income families in the United States. Their service will be $9.99 a month and IBM is refurbishing computers to be bought for $150 with the help of micro-financing provided by Morgan Stanley.

There are some limitations to the service. The monthly price will go up after the first two months and is only available to families with a child enrolled in the school lunch program. It is unfortunate that the service is not available to all low income first-time customers but there is something to be said for making sure children have access to the necessary resources to complete projects and homework.

technology in schools increasing, digital divide in schools, digital divideUsing technology as a learning tool seems to be an increasing trend and the F.C.C.’s initiative will help to make sure that applies to all children, not just those whose family can pay for all the necessary technological tools without giving it a second thought. 

Students with access to technology in schools are embracing their new learning tools. It seems only fair to make sure that students who may not have a whole fleet of laptops or iPads at their disposal at school can at least access Internet at home to complete a class project. 

The F.C.C.’s plan may not be the perfect solution but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.