Monday, September 26, 2005

A New Type of Digital Divide
Bell Canada's Findings Raise Questions, at Best

The new digital divide--parents and kids
From the
Ottawa Business Journal:

A new digital divide is emerging, as parents and their children are split over how their kids use the Internet.
Bell Canada's first Consumer Survey on the Internet habits of Canadian
families finds 72 per cent of parents believe that if properly supervised,
having the Internet at home gives their children an advantage in academic pursuits. However, when asked how they think their kids actually use the Internet, the majority of respondents indicated their child would rather email or chat online with friends than use it for studying or research. . .

These are amazing -- and disturbing -- findings. A lot of theories concerning ICT development focus primarily on access to technology, but the Bell Canada survey provides at least an indicator that the multi-tiered models that include "layers" of social acceptance and adaptation may be headed in a more holistic direction.


What factors are coming into play here? Is this a case of parents amongst the survey group believing that the Web provides a great advantage to their children, but they perceive their children aren't responsible enough to use it correctly? Is this providing clues towards a gap in perceived needs and information-seeking behavior based on social development (i.e. Internet as Toy/Internet as Tool digital divide issues tied to generation gaps)?


A lot of questions. Not many answers.

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