Survey: The Digital divide

Survey Background

The survey will be conducted to gather data that will be processed into information. The information attained will be used to gauge the impact of the selected topic on people’s lives. The goal is to find out whether people are aware of the issues around them which are embedded in the topic selected: The digital Divide, so as to get a sense of how to bridge the social issues that need to be resolved especially to those who are falling behind as technology becomes an essential tool in people’s lives.

The survey will be conducted on a sample point: The University of the Witwatersrand. Students will be our main focus since they are the ones most affected by the digital divide. The participants will consist of randomly selected individuals which will range from different age groups, ethnic backgrounds, sex and of different years of study.

The Digital Divide refers to the gap between people who have regular access to technology and can use it their benefit to enrich their lives and those who do not have this access. The internet and the use has increased over the world. However, the digital divide may still be smaller in certain populations. Certain disadvantaged groups of people still do not have access to technology. Foe example, schools that are poorly funded are not always able to offer regular access or use technology to their learners, while learners from advantaged schools have access and are more equipped than their counterparts.

Suitability and design of questionnaire

       I.            What do you think has caused the digital divide?

A. High prices of computers and internet access.

B. Differences in individual backgrounds.

C. Technological development.

D. Differences in levels of education.

E. Poverty, age and inequality.

     II.            What are the consequences of allowing the digital divide to broaden?

A. Society will be divided.

B. Leads to slower development of enhancing skills and training in the workplace.

C. Some countries will become more developed than others.

D. The rich will become richer and the poor will become poorer.

  III.            Why are some people keen on using the internet while others are reluctant?

A. Has brought efficiency to others while others find it unsafe.

B. Provides gateway to everything.

C. Helps others become computer literate.

  IV.            What do you think most people use as a form of communication and why?

A. The internet. Simple to use and not expensive.

B. Social networking. Much cheaper than phone calls and allows people to collect and share information.

C. Cell-phones. Have become more advanced and efficient due to technology convergence.

D. Pictures. Allow small room for misunderstanding.

    V.            How does technology affect inequality within a given population?

A. Makes people with limited access to fall lower on the financial scale.

B. Privileged people have fast access to useful information.

C. Low-skilled people often earn low wages in the labour market.

D. Other:    

FEEDBACK

Total                                          Options
Question number        A B         C         D       E
1 31 26 31 24 26
2 26 39 36 38 0
3 72 30 24 7 0
4 28 59 37 10 0
5 44 60 26 10 0

 

Graph

Analysis and discussion

According to the first question of the survey, the majority of students and senior-citizens that were interviewed felt that “technological development” and “differences in levels of education are the main causes for the digital divide. This can be seen as an appropriate view from students because they are basically bombarded with technology considering that they live in a technological era. Therefore, since they use technology on a daily basis, it is only relevant for them to hold that view. The response from the senior citizens is different as they are still trying to adopt the new technological trends.

The second question had the fact that the broadening consequences of the digital divide would “lead to a slower development of enhancing skills and training in the workplace”. In terms of the students’ point of view, the adoption to technology development is seen as a skill in these present days. The seniors’ point of view in this question is that it will lead to society being divided. It’s relevant to them because they are the minority that feel that technology is actually ruining our interpersonal skills.

Question three resulted in the majority of students saying that a lot of people are keen on using the internet because it “makes their lives easier, flexible and it is easier to access”. The seniors on the other hand feel that using the internet at times makes them feel unsafe and isolated because it’s easy to get hacked and become a victim of fraud as well as the whole concept of “lack of privacy”.

Question four had “social networking” as the most used form of communication by the students because they feel that it is much cheaper than phone calls and allows for the collection and sharing of information. However, the seniors feel that “cell-phones” are the most used form of communication because they feel that cell-phones have become more advanced and efficient due to technology convergence.

For the fifth question, the students felt that “privileged people are more of the early majority” of technology and therefore they have faster access to useful information whereas the others don’t.  And because technology is a faster and a better way of doing a lot of activities and senior citizens feel like most people are privileged but, some of them feel that inequality affected them and due to new skills being form and found, the older people are at a disadvantage.

Recommendations

Technology should be made available for everyone-young and old. For this to be a success, communities should be involved in the improvement of technology by creating organisations that promote and help train people to be more technologically literate, in that way they show a positive attitude and they contribute towards this in any possible way.

Programs for technological education should take place so that everyone to can be exposed to technology and also for it to expand, additional funding should be provided to resolve the digital divide.

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