Helping Close the Digital Divide for Financially Disadvantaged Seniors

Helping Close the Digital Divide for Financially Disadvantaged Seniors

Al P. Mizell (Nova Southeastern University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-699-0.ch007
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Abstract

The Internet has become an essential element of all society today. Those who can access the World Wide Web have become active participants in the Information Age. Unfortunately, many individuals throughout the world do not have ready access to the needed technology. Furthermore, they do not have the required knowledge and skills to use the technology and cannot participate actively. As a result, this has created a world of information haves and have-nots. In this chapter, after examining the concept of the digital divide, data is presented that shows that those with low incomes and those who are older have little access to technology and the use of computers. Low-income seniors are especially limited in their opportunities to own a computer, and they seldom have the skills needed to use one for e-mail, search the Internet, and so forth, even if they visit a public library where they could use a computer without any cost. Various approaches being used to help seniors learn how to use computers are described, andthen the chapter focuses on two projects that have proved to be successful in this effort. SeniorNet is a national organization that helps establish learning centers around the country. The approach used at one such center, located at Nova Southeastern University in South Florida, requires seniors to pay for their courses. A second project is known as SeniorComp and is supported by private foundation funds. Ten low-income senior citizens are selected for each group of seniors in this project. They are given a complete Dell computer system, and their tuition is paid to take four of the SeniorNet courses. At the end of the fourth course, ownership of the computer system is turned over to the individual participant. To date, the completion rate has been 100%. The approaches used can serve as models for others to modify and use in their own communities. By adopting a similar approach, the impact of the digital divide can be significantly reduced for those low-income seniors that participate in the project. In this way, this portion of the marginal community can be empowered.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Role of ICT in Empowerment
Hakikur Rahman
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1
Cecilia Stanton
Delivering online quality education and equal access requires a commitment to diverse learner populations. This chapter outlines some of the reasons... Sample PDF
Diversity Chalenges in Online Learning
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Chapter 2
Hakikur Rahman
Effective use of information technology can play an important role in learning processes among constricted-bandwidth-inflicted countries with bare... Sample PDF
Empowerment of Marginal Communities Through Information-Driven Learning
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Chapter 3
Hannah Beardon
The digital divide has its roots in the political and power dynamics that underlie all inequality. It follows, therefore, that the response from the... Sample PDF
ICTs, Empowerment, and Development: Articulating Grassroots Analysis Through Participatory Approaches
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Chapter 4
Timlynn T. Babitsky, James F. Salmons
Information and communication technology (ICT) is a potentially potent force for empowering marginal communities in developing countries. To be... Sample PDF
Affecting Change from the Grassroots: Making a Difference without Power, Prestige, or Money
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Chapter 5
Sarah Parkinson
This chapter focuses on the importance of social structures in enabling equitable access opportunities and useful applications of ICTs. It further... Sample PDF
Social Structures for Access, Use, and Development
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Chapter 6
Björn-Sören Gigler
Under which conditions can information and communications technologies (ICTs) enhance the well-being of indigenous communities? This chapter... Sample PDF
Enacting and Interpreting Technology- From Usage to Well-Being: Experiences of Indigenous Peoples with ICTs
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Chapter 7
Al P. Mizell
The Internet has become an essential element of all society today. Those who can access the World Wide Web have become active participants in the... Sample PDF
Helping Close the Digital Divide for Financially Disadvantaged Seniors
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Chapter 8
Rosanna Tarsiero
The chapter provides the reader with an overview of the problems persons with mental illness experience in their everyday life, and guides readers... Sample PDF
Community-Based Information Technology Interventions for Persons with Mental Illness
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Chapter 9
Surmaya Talyarkhan, David J. Grimshaw, Lucky Lowe
This chapter characterises the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) to share information with people at grassroots as connecting the... Sample PDF
Connecting the First Mile: A Best Practice Framework for ICT-Based Knowledge Sharing Initiatives
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Chapter 10
Fazila Farouk, David Barnard
This chapter discusses the challenges facing social justice organisations working in the South African non-profit sector in their attempts to... Sample PDF
The Internet as a Fundraising Tool for Marginal Communities in South Africa
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Chapter 11
Kam H. Vat
The chapter investigates an actionable context of knowledge networking, from the perspective of sustainable development which should accommodate the... Sample PDF
Building Virtual Communities Through a De-Marginalized View of Knowledge Networking
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Chapter 12
Robert Jordan, Worachat Buranapunsri, Zane Berge
In this chapter, accessibility is defined as providing barrier-free Internet applications for those with physical and other disabilities. In some... Sample PDF
Sustaining Internet Accessibility
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Chapter 13
M. Aminul Islam, Elena Murelli, Frederick Noronha, Hakikur Rahman
Capacity development initiatives for marginal communities with information and knowledge under the contemporary global scenario perhaps could be one... Sample PDF
Capacity Development Initiatives for Marginal Communities: A Few Case Studies
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About the Authors