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Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen1 Digital Divide: UK l Internet Access in UK l Does Digital Exclusion hurt people? l Can Net/Web.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen1 Digital Divide: UK l Internet Access in UK l Does Digital Exclusion hurt people? l Can Net/Web."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen1 Digital Divide: UK l Internet Access in UK l Does Digital Exclusion hurt people? l Can Net/Web help underclass?

2 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen2 Internet Access in UK l 65% of UK households have Internet access »56% have broadband l Who does not have access? »digitally excluded l

3 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen3 Age matters most l Proportion never used Internet »16-24: very small »25-44: 8% »45-54: 17% »55-64: 44% »65+: 70%

4 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen4 Education also matters l Household Internet access »93% of adults with degrees (<70 years) »56% of adults with no quals (<70 years)

5 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen5 Disabilities matter? l In 2004, only 30% of disabled adults had Internet access »Compared to 50% overall in 2004 »Dont know what 2008 figures are, I assume gap persists

6 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen6 Does poverty matter? l When asked why their household does not have Internet access, 25% say too expensive »But govt provides free Internet access in public libraries, which is not heavily used »So not just poverty…

7 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen7 Why people say no access l 34%: dont need it l 24%: dont want it l 15%: equipment too expensive l 15%: lack skills l 11%: access (phone/broadband) too exp l 10%: have access elsewhere

8 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen8 Why no access l Quotes from Demos report »Id love to give it a go, I just dont know where to start »Just stick to what you know, thats what I say »You cant miss what you never had »Im a big fan of using the Internet to send pictures long distance to family, I just dont think Ill ever be able to do it

9 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen9 Access mostly at home l Use Internet »At home: 90% »At work: 44% »Someone elses home: 20% »School, uni: 14% »Library: 4% »Internet café: 5% l Public access (library) not too common

10 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen10 Does location matter? l Five years ago, many rural areas did not have good Internet access l As far as I can tell, this is not a problem in 2008, not much difference in rural/urban household Internet access

11 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen11 Mobile access less common l Access Internet via »Laptop with wireless: 23% »2G mobile: 15% »3G mobile: 4% l Different from many third-world countries, where most people access net via mobiles

12 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen12 Summary l Who does not use Internet l Elderly, poorly educated, disabled »dont want to change »lack skills to use Internet, scared of it? –Put off by jargon: eg, blog vs diary »harder to use net because of disabilities? –Head-switch vs mouse

13 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen13 Child with Head Switch l [picture of child in wheelchair with head switch]

14 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen14 Many exceptions!! l Many elderly, poorly educated, disabled people use the Internet every day! »Vera (76): Ive only been using computers for a couple of years, and it took some convincing to get started, but now Iove it l Statistical generalisations, not absolute laws

15 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen15 Impact l Does digital exclusion hurt people? »Keep in mind elderly, disabled, poorly educated are already bottom of the heap l How would Internet access help these people?

16 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen16 Benefits of E-Society l Cheaper, better goods »Elderly, disabled have hard time shopping around l More social interaction via , etc »Elderly, disabled often isolated l Better education, work prospects »For poorly educated

17 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen17 Costs of E-Society l Fears that digitally excluded will be left behind as society goes digital »Worse access to govt services »Closure of local bookstores, etc because of e-competition »Feeling left behind in general, as society embraces the web/net –Enhance social isolation

18 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen18 Govt programs l Many govt initiatives »Provide computers to poor people, especially young people »Provide computers in community centes, libraries »Subsidise broadband in rural areas l UK has Minister for Digital Inclusion »Not clear to me what he does…

19 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen19 Example: Social Isolation l Many elderly people in UK live on their own, away from family »Really want contact with (grand)children l Internet can help » , Skype, social networks, … l Internet can hurt »Grandchildren not interested in face-to-face visits l How do you interact with your (grand)parents »Does Internet help or hurt?

20 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen20 Can Net help solve social prob l One of UKs biggest problem is underclass »20% of population who live in sink estates, cant read, cant get a job, etc l Can net/web/e-society help such people

21 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen21 SkillSum again l Reminder: research project to assess people with poor reading and maths skills »Web-based »Encourage people to get help if appropriate l Didnt work well because of tech issues l Would it help if it did work?

22 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen22 Yes it would help l Helping the underclass get good jobs is the best way to help them l They cannot get decent jobs if they cannnot read or do basic maths l E-learning can help them acquire these skills

23 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen23 No it wont help l Other problems need to be solved l Kate X (16 yrs old, bright, uneducated) »Main barrier is that her peers beat her up (hospitalise her) if she seems to take her education seriously l Brian Y (17 yrs old, bright, uneducated) »Doing well, learning reading/maths; but wants to be a plumber and there arent any such jobs locally (and he wont move)

24 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen24 Stories l Jane Z (24 yrs old, avg intelligence) »Working as shop assistant, cant get better job unless improve reading/maths »Drug addict: trying to quit, but borrowed money from local pusher at loan shark rates, cannot pay this off, pushers goons attacked her boyfriend for non-payment »Hard to help her until drug problem resolved

25 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen25 Can we help l E-Society limited help to people who are truly bottom of heap? »E-Society in third-world countries: not much help to people who are worried about getting enough to eat »E-Society in UK: not much help to drug addict in debt thralldom to local pusher l More help to people who have more moderate problems?

26 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen26 Other ways of helping l E-govt: better access to benefits, social housing l E-commerce: easier to apply for jobs, more aware of jobs outside local area l E-health: info on diet, smoking, etc l Do these work?

27 Dr. Ehud Reiter, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen27 Class opinions? l Can we use net/web/e-society to help the underclass? l Or is this pointless because it doesnt address the real underlying problems?


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