Addressing the Digital Divide in Rural Australia

Rosemary Black, John Atkinson

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Abstract

The advent of computers, the internet and other Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has brought significant changes to individual’s and communities across the globe. However, these technologies are not equally or universally accessible to all individuals and communities and disparities in ICT access exist. In particular gaps currently exist between those people considered to have access to ICT services and those who do not. These gaps are commonly referred to as the digital divide. A range of factors have been identified to help explain the digital divide including income, educational level, age and location. In Australia a digital divide has been identified between rural and metropolitan areas. One initiative that attempts to address the digital divide in rural Victoria is the The Access@schools program. This program provides rural communities throughout Victoria with access to ICT resources in local schools. From funding provided as part of Access@schools, Chiltern Primary School in north-east Victoria has attempted to advance this idea by implementing a notebook borrowing program that allows the Chiltern community to borrow, take home and use notebook computers. An analysis of the program involving semi-structured interviews with eight program participants and five key informants identified a range of benefits and impacts on individual users and the community, as well as some areas for improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAusWeb07
Subtitle of host publicationSic erat in fatis (so it was fated)
EditorsJoanna Richardson, Allan Ellis
Place of PublicationLismore, Australia
PublisherSouthern Cross University Printery
Pages45-62
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780975164495
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventAustralian World Wide Web (AusWeb) Conference - Coffs Harbour, Australia
Duration: 30 Jun 200704 Jul 2007

Conference

ConferenceAustralian World Wide Web (AusWeb) Conference
Country/TerritoryAustralia
Period30/06/0704/07/07

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