Week 8 Notes – Tu

Access and Digital Divide

  • Lecture / Exercise (ppt)
  • Discussion Leaders
  • Housekeeping

  • Exercise – count off into six groups. Spend a few minutes researching the topic associated with your number – jot some notes in a blog post, then gather together as a group to discuss. Be prepared to report out to the class as a whole
    1. Clearwire
    2. Spokane’s wifi district
    3. Tacoma’s fiber project
    4. Marymoor Park & Microsoft/MSN
    5. New York’s wifi in the parks
    6. The $100 laptop project
  • Discussion Leaders
  • Questions for comment (not for discussion leaders! pick one question. reflect in a comment to this blog entry before 8 am Thursday):
    • Do you think that it is unfair to call cyberspace a public space because of accessibility limitations? How might public space change if most everyone in the world has access to both telecommunications and Internet?
    • How might offering WI-Fi benefit (or harm) a business?
    • How would it affect your life if you woke up one day without easy access to the Internet and voice services?
    • Do you agree or disagree with Michael Best statement that we should develop policy that supports “rural and universal access as drivers of development and not sources of government revenue.” Explain your answer using a personal example of a time when internet access was fundamental to your personal and educational growth.
    • How can we ensure that children in low income areas are not discriminated against if they do not have computer and internet access from the home to complete homework and class projects?
  • Housekeeping
    • Thanks for participating last week
    • Grades will be updated on Thursday
    • Media assignment – have complete by start of class Thursday
    • Remember – start recording your voice!
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Posted on May 15, 2007, in Class Notes. Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Jeannette Tobin

    How would it affect your life if you woke up one day without easy access to the Internet and voice services?

    If it happened right now in my last quarter of college it would be immpossible for me to work at my job and finish any school work. I work on HW late at night at home after work and on my 2 days off or 1 day off i get a week. I also live in MLT so it would make it next to impossible for me to drive some where like the UW to do my internet work. I am definently dependent on having access at home to make it possible for me to finish school. If this happened after I graduated it would piss me off but I would not ruin my life.

  2. Offering Wi-Fi would benefit businesses depending on the nature of the company. For example, if a sales company had Wi-Fi in areas their employees frequently visit, it would be very useful. However, a traditional accounting firm that deals with highly sensitive material would not benefit. This is because they need the data to be highly secure. It is also not very practical for accountants to work at a coffee shop, at a park, etc because they have lots of paperwork and data.

  3. How would it affect your life if you woke up one day without easy access to the Internet and voice services?
    -This happens to me sometimes actually, well at least the internet part. Honestly for a few days it really isn’t a big deal. Granted I miss emails from peers about group meetings but nothing that would seriously cut me off from the rest of the world. By voice services I am going to say this means a phone. In high school I never had a cell phone. Now that i have one, I wonder what I did with out it. If I forget it at home I honestly feel disconnected and uncomfortable all together.

  4. If I woke up one morning and was suddenly unable to use the internet or any voice services such as a phone I would be in a state of panic. I am very aware of how dependent I am on communication technologies for school and social purposes. When I was in Europe last quarter I did not have easy access to internet and using a phone to call the states was extreemly expensive so that is an experience I have had that I can compare closely to this question. Not being “connected” made me feel alone, vulnerable, and uncomortable at times. Using the internet and voice technologies are a huge part of my life, and I depend on them greatly.

  5. Offering Wifi for a business is beneficial for many reasons, one of the greatest reasons for giving wifi access is to allow employees to use personal laptops for work purposes. This way their work can be done on the road or at home. This can also be harmful because it would be easier for an outsider to gain access to the network. If there are certain files that need to remain secret they could be exposed and that could hurt the business. However, for that to happen there needs to be someone who will do that and someone with reason to access those certain files. Most business don’t have enemies that will corrupt or expose files, and if they do their security measures are designed to keep them out. I feel that the pros out weigh the cons of having wifi internet access.

  6. My life would be inconvenienced if I did not have easy access to Internet and voice services. I rely on the Internet to communicate with other people (e-mail) such as friends and family, and to do research for assignments and projects. I think I could live without the Internet for a couple of days but definitely not in the long term. Voice services are more important to me so the impact would be greater, especially since I am overseas and I call home regularly. Without voice services I would feel more helpless and disconnected because I rely on it more to communicate with friends and family.

  7. Lindsey Marsh

    I think that by offering free wi fi, businesses who are wifi providers may be harmed. If people can go to the park to get their internet connection, then they may not buy wifi for their home. Also, the wifi available in parks that were put in the nyc parcs may also allow those living on the outskirts of the park to access free wifi at their home. This may cause a decrease in those business’ profits and thus harm them.

  8. How would it affect your life if you woke up one day without easy access to the Internet and voice services?

    I would probably go crazy. In actuality, a similar situation occurred when Comcast cable Internet connection didn’t work at my apartment. It was the most inconvenient and frustrating thing ever, because so much of my time is spent online, including blog entries for homework, social life with facebook and e-mail, Spanish homework through an online website, and much more. In that particular case, I had to visit the library in order to gain better access. If somehow, dial-up was my only option to access the internet for one entire day, I would be extremely irritated at the slow connection. This is probably due to expectations of having a fast connection and decent service.

  9. I think businesses that offer free WiFi are at an advantage (especially in a University town). When I get together with a study group, my group members will often suggest Tully’s or another coffee shop with free Wifi. I’m not quiet sure why Starbucks doesn’t offer this service. I seem to have a hard time finding a seat at free-Wifi cafes, as they are all occupied with students on their laptops. I think providing free Wifi to customers is great for any business.

  10. I can not imagine what life would be like if I did not have the internet available at my finger tips. Literally, every free second that I have I spend either reading e-mails, facebooking or replying to e-mails. Sometimes I actually have to plan my day around the fact that I wont be able to use the internet. Meaning I may have to call someone instead of e-mail and would’nt even begin to know where to go to get my work schedule. I actually think its funny how people these days base vacations around whether there is internet access or not. Having said that I always feel disconnected from the world when I am on vaction without internet access. Overall I would be a complete stress case without the internet being readily available. I am a little OCD when it comes to checking my e-mails.

  11. If I woke up one day and realized I had no Internet or cell phone use/voice services , I’d probably just walk to the library and use the Internet there. Heck there have been times when my Internet here (go Clearwire!) basically stopped working, and although I was a little annoyed, mostly by the fact that I was paying for this service that wasn’t working all the time, it really didn’t bother me. If I woke up and realized that no one had Internet access/cell phone use, I’d probably be pretty happy, because I hate using cell phones, and I wouldn’t be so obsessed with checking sites and my email. Thankfully I haven’t gotten to the point where I can’t be away from this stuff on vocations.

  12. I think it is important not to discriminate against children with little or no internet access. The world is moving in that direction, but it is not their fault that they don’t have it or can’t afford it. I believe it is up to the teachers to understand their situation, talk to their parents, and allow some sort of ‘make up’ assignment that can be done on paper. Or, they could be granted special time during school to complete the assignment on the classroom or library computer.

  13. When I think about how much I depend on the internet and voice technologies on a day-to-day basis, it almost scares me to think about what I would do if I were to wake up one day and have no access to either technologies. From going to class taking notes and researching while the professor lectures from an internet powerpoint presentation to text messaging to making phone calls, technology effects nearly every aspect of my life. I spend so much time on the internet and on the phone–be it for school, work, or personal use, that not having it would seriously affect the productivity I am able to make from day to day.

  14. I think that if I woke up one morning and did not have easy access to internet, first would be shock and second would be getting used to it. I remember when I got back from Rome I did not have a cell phone for a few weeks and it was actually kind of refreshing because I had the opportunity to call people at my own convenience instead of them knowing I had a cell phone and be able to call me whenever they wanted. I actually got used to not having it and liked it. I think this would be similar to not having internet. We depend on it so much but I think we would enjoy time better if we did not have it at such an easy time.

  15. How would it affect your life if you woke up one day without easy access to the Internet and voice services?

    First of all, I would be pissed, then annoyed, and then frustrated. Frustrated because after all of these years of having these things at my fingertips has made me rely on these sources for information. It makes me think back to when we were having class discussions about using the library and card catalogs. Honestly, things would just take me longer and I am not sure that I have developed the patience for such things. However, being a resourceful person, I would just have to find some way around it and then get used to it. But I still wouldn’t like it.

  16. I think that a business having WI-FI access can be beneficial, but I see many problems arising with employees being able to access WI-FI during the workday. It would be very easy for employees to be less productive during the workday if they can access their private email accounts and access websites that may be prohibited by the server that is run by their employer. However, allowing employees to search the internet freely can improve the morale of the workers as well as open up the information realm of cyberspace which may help benefit the business as a whole.

  17. Do you think that it is unfair to call cyberspace a public space because of accessibility limitations? How might public space change if most everyone in the world has access to both telecommunications and Internet?

    I think it is really unfair to call cyberspace public space, because not everybody can have access to it, not everyone can afford for internet. I think that we would get a really big change in the world if everyone would have access to both Internet and telecommunications. People will be getting the same information all over the world, everyone would be able to communicate with one another all over the world. It would do a world of good to online businesses as well people can have access to their favorite things online.

  18. How would it affect your life if you woke up one day without easy access to the Internet and voice services?

    I would be so screwed. It is kind of scary how heavily I rely on those technologies. The days I forget to charge my battery on my phone and it dies, I just feel really unconnected. I feel like it would realy shrink my place in the world. I think that in the past peoples sense of the world was much smaller because they did not have access to all the people or information we do nowat a touch a of a button. I really hope i never wake up and i do not have those 2 technologies.

  19. I believe that Wi-Fi would greatly benefit a business in many different ways. The first thing is that employees will have the ability to work off site, perhaps alleviating stress or maximizing time. For people who are not employees, it gives a business good PR because people are using the internet that a business affords them. They are also helping out the community buy offering Wi-Fi whereever they do because it helps that business or area/service.
    The only real negative that I can see is that it could allow more people access to the business and things that should remain private, especially if employees are using the network. It could leave the business open to hackers and viruses.

  20. Last year I studied abroad in Spain, and found it difficult at times because I did not have easy internet access. The city I stayed in had limited access (very few houses were connected) so we were forced to go to internet cafes. There were only a few, and the closest one was over 1 1/2 miles away. It was a hard adjustment because I was so used to going on-line whenever I wanted, but in Spain I had to take time out of my day to go on-line as well as have limited time (since you had to pay). It was hard to lose something that I was so dependent on at home, especially since it was one of the only ways that I connected to my friends and family here. It was also really hard without a cell phone. We get so used to these technologies, that it is so difficult to function without them. I’m glad that I had limited internet and phone time, because I could not have lasted studying abroad without them.

  21. If I woke up one day without easy access to the Internet or voice services it would be quite a culture shock…sadly. It would feel almost like going backwards in time, like taking away that favorite blanket of a child who’d become so accustomed to sleeping with it. But at the same time, I would probably adapt–depending on where I was. I lived in New York for four months and couldn’t afford internet in my apartment, didn’t have a laptop, so I had to go to the library every day (or every day I wanted to check) to take care of whatever I needed. It was slightly annoying but became part of my routine. And eventually, I began using the Internet less, desiring it less and was totally content.

    But if I were at home with all the same expectations and need for the Internet, it would probably be much more difficult to adjust.

  22. Discriminating against children in low income areas is not something that anyone tries to do. Yet when there is a digital divide even among all ages espcially with the cost of technology its hard to prevent. Its hard to be able to ensure this doesnt happen because it not really in our comtrol. We can work as a society to get more funding for education to teach teachers and to recieve the technology but even today with the lowering costs of new media its hard to ensure this and prevent it for the future.

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