Bridging the Digital Divide
Written by Administrator
One of the mission of the Fort Lauderdale Community Center is to bridge the digital divide that existed between have's and the have not's. To bring the benefits of computer technology to at risk families and communities. Knight foundation conducted several research studies to discover the benefits of having computer technology for underprivileged families and neighborhoods. Below is the summary and outcome of their research.
The One Economy Digital Communities program has helped clients become active users
of the Internet at high rates”rates much higher than other low-income Americans. One
Economy clients in San Jose and Miami have maintained home access and connectivity,
and, in addition to using their home computers, are making use of the Internet at multiple
and varied locations in their lives. Clients see the computer as an essential tool of
contemporary life, and feel profoundly more included in society and connected to the
broader world through the Internet. Patterns of use for their home computers vary by
family circumstance, but, in general, family members have developed ways to
successfully integrate active Internet use into family life. One difficulty for a significant
proportion of clients is managing high demand for use among family members”a strong
indication of how important Internet access has become to One Economy clients.
The previous section provided an overview of the degree to which clients have Internet
connectivity and the significance clients attach to having technology, particularly in their
homes. The purpose of the One Economy Digital Communities program goes beyond
providing access, though. The programs primary objective is to provide clients with
opportunities to use digital technology to improve their lives, most notably by helping
them integrate into the social and economic mainstream. Our second hypothesis directly
addresses the mechanism through which the program supports these goals and
underlies the analyses in this section.
H2 Having a computer and Internet access will help clients take steps towards:
Pursuing better jobs
Accessing financial services
Obtaining health care
Advancing their education
In discussing program outcomes, we will also discuss findings relating to the third
H3 Having Internet access will strengthen clients engagement in the community.
Our findings show that:
Having home access benefits clients for all key goal outcomes, such as
improving school and job performance.
Clients use home Internet access for a broad range of meaningful purposes.
Knight Computer Research Study