Before starting this assignment, I had never heard of the term digital inequality. Digital divide, however, was something that I had heard many times before. As a computer trainer, it is each to forget that not everyone has the luxury of purchasing a computer. In fact, I learned that just 80% of Americans own a computer. However, this is a great progress from 1995, where on average, only 30% of Americans owned a computer. Nevertheless, this leaves 20% of our citizens that are missing out of valuable (and often free) material (McConnaughey, J., Nila, C. A., & Sloan, T. 1995).
Perhaps what was most powerful about this assignment was discovering the factors that cause digital inequality. For example, there are many people who have access to a computer, but do not have the resources to learn how to use it. Additionally, there are also many individuals who may know how to use a computer, but do not have access to one outside of school or work.
Overall, I think my biggest takeaway from this assignment would be to remember the underlying factors that cause inequality: “equipment, autonomy, skill, social support, and purposes for which technology is employed” (DiMaggio, P., & Hargittai, E. 2001). I want to make a personal commitment to remember to ask why inequality exists, instead of simply acknowledging that it is there!
In terms of aligning with AECT standards, this assignment relates closely to section 3.1 Media Utilization-
Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning. I was able to learn principles about digital inequality and directly apply them to a scenario that involved policy-making and implementation. Additionally, I utilized a variety of articles, videos and tables to understand the concepts and differences between digital divide and digital inequality.