Writing Prompt 2
Our activities this week were focused on ways that we can bridge the Digital Divide in terms of access to technology hardware, learning how to effectively code or use software, and thinking about disparate populations that might use the tech in different ways. Despite all the efforts of groups like the ones we looked at this week, there is still a huge digital divide, even if we just look at the United States, in terms of who works in STEM fields and is influencing the next generation of technology.
In this blog, I want you to think about how you would bridge the divide in the United States. You should reference things you experienced this week that you thought were effective and things you did not believe were effective in bridging the gap. Note anything that you think the groups missed in terms of their approaches to lessening the Digital Divide.
How I Would Try to Bridge The Digital Divide in The United States
In the United States we see a huge divide between races and gender and their representation in STEM fields. Statistics provided by National Science Board and National Science Foundation and simplified by the National Girls Collaborative Project state “Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 34% of the science and engineering workforce” and “Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives make up a smaller share of the science and engineering workforce (23%) than their proportion of the employed U.S. population (30%)” (Stem statistics: Workforce).
To combat this issue, there are organizations that are working to get more women and people of color educated and interested in STEM fields and tools. Organizations like Kode With Klossy, and DigiGirlz seek to bridge the gender inequality in the tech industry. While Black Girls Code seeks to bridge both the gender and race inequalities in the tech industry. These organizations offer in-person, hybrid, and virtual events that allow them to meet people where they are.
I think what these programs are missing are the ability to provide girls with access to the technology required to even access the skills they are teaching. I think they are missing a group of girls that are unable to have access to the technology required to reach the content they put out. They also operate in larger cities throughout the United States, but the people with the least access to digital technology are in rural areas. I think branching out to these rural area could help both provide technology and skills needed in the STEM field.
“Stem Statistics: Workforce.” National Girls Collaborative Project, 20 Dec. 2022, https://ngcproject.org/resources/stem-statistics-workforce.