ERIC Number: ED440190
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Mar
Online Content for Low-Income and Underserved Americans: The Digital Divide's New Frontier. A Strategic Audit of Activities and Opportunities.
Lazarus, Wendy; Mora, Francisco
This report analyzes the "digital divide" between those who have access to online information and opportunities and those who do not. The research included discussion groups with more than 100 low-income Internet users, interviews with nearly 100 community technology leaders and other experts, analysis of 1,000 Web sites, and a review of the literature and promising activities across the United States. The analysis shows that, although many underserved communities are gaining access to the Internet, many are not benefiting fully because of barriers they face related to content. The most far-reaching barrier is the scarcity of information regarding user's local communities. Other barriers include literacy limitations, language barriers, and the lack of cultural diversity in Internet content. A conservative estimate is that at least 50 million U.S. residents, roughly 20%, face 1 or more content-related barriers that leave them underserved. Focus groups have defined the things that adult and younger users want, and these wants have been used to develop three strategies to promote a positive information society: (1) start with what can be done immediately; (2) put in place a new national strategy that leads and supports communities as they use the new online tools to tackle real community concerns and ensure that no Americans are left out; and (3) carry out the research and development needed for the knowledge base that ensures effective community and national efforts. Six appendixes contain a list of people interviewed for the analysis, content categories used, a list of online resources analyzed, the content criteria used, examples of online content for the underserved, and a list of information resources used. (Contains 59 endnotes.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Access to Computers, Access to Information, Economic Factors, Internet, Low Income Groups, Minority Groups, Socioeconomic Status, Telecommunications, Trend Analysis, Use Studies
Children's Partnership, 1351 3rd Street, Suite 206, Santa Monica, CA 90401-1321. Tel: 310-260-1220; Fax: 310-260-1921; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.childrenspartnership.org. For full text: http://www.childrenspartnership.org/pub/low income/ low income.pdf
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, New York, NY.; ARCO Foundation, Los Angeles, CA.; California Wellness Foundation.; Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Foundation for Child Development, New York, NY.; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ.; Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, CA.; Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.; KPMG Peat Marwick, Washington, DC. Policy Economic Group.; David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA.
Authoring Institution: Children's Partnership, Santa Monica, CA.
Note: Support provided by the Morino Institute, AOL Foundation, AT&T Foundation, California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth, Nancy M. Daly Foundation, Joseph Drown Foundation, The Favrot Foundation, The Johnson Foundation, Mattel Children's Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, MSNBC, Pacific Bell, Southern California Edison, and the Streisand Foundation.