Access Isn’t Everything; From ‘Digital Divide’ to ‘Digital Illiteracy’

As access to devices has spread, children in poorer families are spending considerably more time than children from more well-off families using their television and gadgets to watch shows and videos, play games and connect on social networking sites, studies show…This growing time-wasting gap, policy makers and researchers say, is more a reflection of the ability of parents to monitor and limit how children use technology than of access to it…“I’m not antitechnology at home, but it’s not a savior,” said Laura Robell, the principal at Elmhurst Community Prep, a public middle school in East Oakland, Calif., who has long doubted the value of putting a computer in every home without proper oversight.

When will we learn that it’s not what you have access to, but rather, how you use it. The race to develop and release new technologies cannot exclude the development of systems and processes which guide us in it’s use. As a technophile, I struggle everyday with defining the effect such rapid iteration has on my own life. It’s hard enough for me, so I can imagine why others swear off technology all together. But burying your head in the sand is not the answer either, just ask Blockbuster. One thing is clear to me, we’ll increasingly need more processes and systems which are solid enough to give us stability, while being flexible enough to anticipate and adapt to change. As the saying goes, “the horse is out the gate” and we have 2 choices : 1) stand still and risk getting trampled or 2) think of a way to not only get out of its way, but end up in the saddle. What do you think?