# Bridging The Digital Divide
#### DasGeek & Profetik
#### Talking Notes
### What Is Digital Divide?
- The digital revolution has changed the way we interact with the world.
- Everything from jobs, news to social interactions and education to finding a place to live are now all consumed primarily in the digital space.
- We now carry a calculator in our pockets everywhere we go. A statement our teachers might have told us wouldn't be the case.
- Questions can be answered real-time with the World Wide Web and arguments about facts settled on the spot.
- The information at our fingertips is unparalled in human history.
- However, millions of people do not have access to this information. They're excluded from participating. That is the **Digital Divide**.
#### What Makes Up The Digital Divide:
- Lack of education to develop skills and knowledge
- Economic status (finances needed to obtain a PC or phone)
- Lack of financials to purchase the needed software or pay for internet. access
- Where you live
- Access to Libraries
- Access to bus routes
- Access to Internet or Digital connection.
- Age and disabilities
#### The Impact
William Kennard, the former Chair of the FCC, "In a society where increasingly we are defined by access to information and what we earn is what we learn, if you don't have access to technology, you're going to be left in the digital dark ages. That's what the digital divide is all about."
- 52% of the people on the planet do not have internet access
- Literacy has long been used as a method of social control and oppression
- 34 million people do not have access to the digital world in the US alone.
- 90 percent of all jobs in the enonomy require use of digital tools
- More than 30 million adults in the US cannot read, write, or do basic math.
- 70% of homework is assigned online in the US
- 5 million familes with school aged children do not have internet connectivity in the US.
- UN Human Rights Council has condemned countries that take away access or restrict access to the internet stating "Internet access gives citizens vast opportunities for affordable and inclusive education globally,"
### How Open Source Helps Close The Divide
- Open Source helps to close the digital divide on multiple fronts.
- The ability to afford a physical machine whether it be a Raspberry Pi or a used computer still leaves one with the costs of software.
- Open Source Software is mostly free to use. It offers the same access to write, explore, and create on professional platforms.
- Open Source software for network administration and tools along with access to free courses and tutorials online allow for self taught and self trained education.
- Doesn't restrict deployment and sharing of assets to others allowing for Governments and Public Community Centers to provide lower cost and easier to maintain access.
- Provides secure and up to date Operating System and software regardless of economic status.
### The Trap
- While some services offer what seems like 'free' software like Google Docs, Gmail, etc. these services take advantage of ignorance of technology in taking personal information and metadata ad targetting in exchange for their appearence of being free.
- Companies like Google and Facebook do work on providing internet access to developing countries but also to ensnare new users to advertise to and collect personal data on.
- While more computer literate individuals understand the damages that the plethora of personal data collection means and the services to avoid - the less technology literate are not aware of true open source alternatives or the impact of giving up their personal data freedoms.
### What Can We Do?
- Use Open Source Software and promote it at work and school.
- Contribute to Open Source software advancement.
- Skill (coding, documentation, etc.)
- Saying Thanks
- Look to donate old hardware to local charities that are focused on the digital divide like http://www.reglue.org/
- Bring awarness to the issue and look for ways to get involved at state and federal levels.
- Look to support national organizations like [EveryoneOn](https://www.everyoneon.org/about-us#model) and the 1 Million Project working to connect everyone.
- [MIT Technology Review](https://www.technologyreview.com/f/608887/the-un-says-the-global-digital-divide-could-become-a-yawning-chasm/)
- [Ted Talk](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzokRz1pgb0)
- [1 Million Project](http://1millionproject.org/)
- [Orange Business Services](https://www.orange-business.com/en/blogs/digital-divide-where-are-we-now)