What is the Digital Divide?

o The gap between the people who have access to technology and those who do not
o Includes fixed phone lines, mobile phone usage, and internet usage
o Is both a national and a global issue
o Has been shrinking over the past ten years but is still a big issue
Statistics (from http://www.itu.int/wsis/tunis/newsroom/stats/)
o In 2004, less than 3 out of 100 Africans used the internet. In the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the US) 1 out of every 2 people used the internet.
o There are about the same number of internet users in the G8 countries as there are in the whole rest of the world combined.
o The G8 counties make up just 15% of the world’s population but make up almost 50% of the world’s total internet users
o The G8 countries also make up 34% of the world’s mobile phone users

How Can We Close the Gap?
o Visit www.bridgethedigitaldivide.com
o Donate money or computers
o Educate others about this issue

The One Laptop Per Child Project is an international effort to get laptops into the hands of children. The educators page on their wiki has well-thought-out arguments on the role technology in education and a reasoned discussion on "best practices."

Obama's steps toward closing the gap: