This paper seeks to identify and describe the problem that is associated to the internet that affects the societal, economic and cultural context. The paper evaluates the population that the identified problem affects and how it affects them. The paper further identifies the solution to the identified problem. The paper assesses the beneficial and harmful effects of the solution identified.
Internet portfolio which is also referred to as an electronic portfolio, digital portfolio or an e-portfolio describes the various activities of electronic confirmation that an operator carries out generally over the web. Internet collection includes hyperlinks, multimedia, input messages, electronic files, images, among others. There are three primary categories of web portfolios, namely; developmental, assessment, and showcase electronic portfolios. The internet computing has helped join different people from all parts of the world. Further, the internet has made it possible various organizations to prosper and has also simplified their workloads. As much as the advanced has all these positive impacts on the lives of people, it also got its share of problems that affects peoples' lives economically, socially and culturally. Therefore, the purpose of the current paper is to identify and describe a significant contemporary problem and a potential solution that are connected to the internet to the societal, economic, or cultural context.
Among the various problems of the internet computing that are connected to the societal, economic, and cultural contexts is the digital divide. According to Molinari, Digital Divide describes the gap among persons and societies that have can easily and freely access modern information technologies and those individuals who have no access to technology. Further Molinari identified three main causes of digital divide, these cases are; absence of access to modern information technologies because of affordability, inadequate awareness and expertise on how to operate the computers and smartphones that are the devices to modern information technology, and the lack of acquaintance of the paybacks that the use of technology can bring about.
Nonetheless, there are more reasons that lead to the digital divide that encompasses the following; the less fortunate regions, indigent persons, gaining access to up-country regions, and a guileless lack of concern in knowing more about the internet and the advantages it got. The disadvantaged groups take account of the physically challenged, the jobless, not forgetting the illiterate. To end with, as usual, there are those people who always resist change, and so they don't see the need to join the era of using the internet and becoming technologically aware.
It has been noted that the access of the internet is the key cause of the digital divide. While lack or limited access has been pointed out as the key issue, there are additional contributing elements that encompass the following; high costs of internet-enabled equipment that promotes technology, difficulties in the access for the physically challenged, inadequate modern technology proficiencies, illiteracy, deficiency of information, and the use of obsolete computers.
The high modern technology costs have huge impacts on the less fortunate regions, but even though these expenses have drastically gone down due to the introduction of the internet, the rural people still perceive technology as a luxury and not a necessity; hence they do not see the need to have it. Difficulties in the access of technology for the physically challenged is an apprehension since these personalities need exceptional software and apparatus so as to conquer their necessities. The absence of recent technology proficiencies, illiteracy, and the deficiency of information describe the areas where education is needed to son as to do away with them.
Solutions to Digital Divide
Education is the fundamental solution to the digital divide. Community Technology Centers are being established all through the nations to upsurge technology accessibility and education to the ignorant persons. Universities and colleges have also made sure that all the students in their institutions get computer studies. Nonetheless, secondary schools have also not been left behind in giving their student's computer lessons, whereby computer studies has been added as a fully examinable subject in most schools.
The physically challenged are receiving more support from the government as well as from various institutions. For this reason, workplaces have been attuned to cater for those with infirmities and also the physically challenged also provided with various software programs that guide them. Programs such as Jaws, a screen reader, and Open book Ruby have been availed to support the visually damaged which aids in scanning printed scripts so that they access the information as artificial discourse. Nevertheless, for the disabled (Paraplegics or quadriplegics), the Dragon Naturally Speaking software has been developed which is a voice-recognition software.
Further, the wireless technology commonly known as Wi-Fi is becoming available in most areas such as hotels, coffee shops, libraries, public and personal vehicles, offices, etc. Wi-Fi helps individuals with computers, smartphones and other internet-enabled machines to access the internet and get to learn about the new technology that is available in the market.
Advantages and Disadvantage of Bridging the Digital Divide Gap
There is need to close the gap between the people who can access and use the modern information and communication technology and those who can't because of the following reasons: social mobility; whereby the internet and the computers are playing a significant role in an individual’s life, i.e. in their learning, professional and career development. For that reason, education should cover computing and the usage of the internet. Nonetheless, through the gap bridging of the two groups, economic equality will be achieved as internet access has become a core component in the civil life in most developed countries; hence many things such as the provision of welfare services is done on the internet. If all people could access the internet, then everybody will be served equally.
Economic growth has been enabled thru the internet as the use of information infrastructure has availed the shortest route to economic growth of the developing countries. This is so because information technology is always linked to increased productivity, augmented sales, product improvement, and also bringing about competitive advantage to the organizations that have embraced technology. On the cultural context, bridging this gap will ensure that people from all cultures will be able to communicate and make friends from all over the world. Even the rural cultures will be able to access the internet and get exposed to all the information that is available on the web hence enabling them to be updated.
The bridging of the digital divide gap has also led to crimes that are conducted over the internet such as cyber bullying, identity theft, internet scams, alteration of stored data, stealing of confidential information, etc. Especially to the people new to the internet, they easily get manipulated by the internet experts and end up in the frustrated.
The Digital divide is the abyss that splits persons, societies not leaving businesses and corporations behind, through fundamentally placing them under two diverse groups. These groups are; the group that has free access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and those that don’t have any access to ICT. Digital divide is caused by illiteracy, ignorance, high costs of procuring internet enabled devices, etc. The gap created by the digital divide can be bridged via educating the illiterate, providing computer education in high schools and colleges, and also educating the community on the advantages of modern technology. Bridging the gap helps in bringing about democracy, economic growth, social equality, and cultural diversification.