How To Bridge The Digital Divide GIVE THE GIFT OF COMPUTERIZATION START A COMPUTER CLUB AT YOUR BANK TODAY
The digital divide is space in our society between computerized and non-computerized. The digital divide is dangerous, yet can be made safe if we all just work together to build a bridge to cyber freedom.
When problem is a lack of adequate computerization, solution is simply to adequately computerize. Web conferencing, computer enriched literacy programs and organizational participation can dramatically help transform digital divide into opportunities wide.
We live in a world of technology haves and have-nots. Like A Tale Of Two Cities, failure to address issues can result in creating a future resembling The Time Machine. Since we never know who’s life experience will hold key to solving problems of disease, environmental destruction, economic empowerment, or our next really good laugh, we can’t afford to leave anybody behind who wants to participate in Information Age Evolution.
The evidence is too precise to ignore. Maximizing cyber opportunities is critical to success of any economy. Make no mistake about it. Second hand information in information age is truly new slavery. If you have to go to another for your daily data, by time you get it, if you get it, it’s old news. Many companies only have additional product information on web. Talk about second-class status.
The solution involves access to both equipment and education. For example, internet access without confidence and ability to effectively use technology, is like having a microphone and not know how to turn it on or what to say. Though I’ve trained thousands how to use a computer at no financial cost, I’m still astounded at number of people who don’t have a clue how to use a computer. What’s even more amazing to me are people who have gone to traditional computer classes and still don’t have a grasp on how to benefit from computer use. My training notes are posted at http://www.compurest.com. Click on Free MS Training.
Multi-level involvement of government, organizations and individuals is imperative. Computers are keys out of Babylon, next day in genesis of our freedom as human race. I have a theory that during WWII enough people chose good over evil so that we were given power of computers. The Enigma Machine, an early computer, was developed by Allies and used to break Hitler’s code, thereby turning tide of war. The power of our modern Enigma Machines, computers, has changed tide in many lives in no less a dramatic fashion.
According to Genesis, during time of Babylon’s ego, our language was confounded. With computers and their language translation capabilities, people from all over world can speak and be understood. I’ll never be able to convey joy on face of a young man in Harlem first time he communicated with a soul from Japan about a mutual artistic passion. Or peace of senior Miss. Ruth who was able to communicate with younger members of her family in another state through a computer, which translated into them becoming even closer. Or accomplishment of a young father building stronger communications bridges with his six-year-old daughter during conversations they would have while together at computer screen. It no longer matters what one learned or did not learn in school. The information, commodity of kings, is available to all who know how to use a computer, Internet and an assortment of educational tools. As Anthony Robbins says in his book AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN…”I can’t overemphasize power and value of gaining even one, single distinction – a sole piece of information – that can be used to change course of your life. Information is power when it is acted upon, and one thing is that you never know when you’re going to get it.”
The difference between a computerized and non-computerized life is like difference between a Mercedes and a mule. Take insurance. Via web, one can quickly gain access to tools that compare up to second insurance rates offered by a multitude of companies. Without web, one usually relies on whatever print or phone information is available. Anyone can be a salesman with Yahoo Classified, a free product advertising service that gets around 12 million hits a day. Driving instructions, medical treatments, food information http://www.foodstop.com, breaking news, spirituality, sports, humor, art, http://www.audart.com, it’s all there.
I’ve been a computer diva for a quarter of a century. Back in late ‘80’s Harlem’s great community service diva, Mother Clara Hale, told me that there was something going on with computers and I needed to come uptown to help people become computerized. I won’t repeat what she said about Harlem’s politicians on issues.
It is time for effective leadership. I’m not dissin’ folks in charge, just requesting they use computers to solve problems community is facing. Truthful information is a key. In 80’s I was told by Harlem’s leadership that AIDS was not a Black problem. They said best way to handle AIDS was to not talk about it. They’d put on another record, rather than have on Niro Markoff Asistent who’s book WHY I SURVIVE AIDS tells how she healed herself of HIV with ARC (aids related complex). In 90’s, politicians did little about 5 open sewers that surround Harlem, location of majority of Manhattan’s bus depots in Harlem, threat of Hanta Virus or plague from large rodent population, inadequate disaster relief programs or information available on how to deal with dramas on hand. The Internet has some answers, but you have to know how to do a search or type in an address to find them.
When I lived in mid-town Manhattan in 80’s and early-mid 90’s, I had many computer stores in walking distance of my apartments. When I went to Harlem in ’94, there was not one computer store…a place where you could “kick tires”, try new technologies, and take a test drive of new software.
When I left Harlem in ’98, despite pleas to elected and appointed officials, Harlem still did not have a computer super store. Not even all time spent on Empowerment Zone helped. Instead, I was told that most people had no interest in computers or that computers were of devil.
When I’d conduct ‘computer buying groups’, we had one Radio Shack in Harlem, close to Columbia University, which had an extremely limited computer selection and programs were minimal. We ended up having to go down town. When I came to Los Angeles in ’98 same was true for Watts and Compton. My sister, Robin Hardin, reports same is true in her city, Detroit. Are there many computers in Afghanistan? I doubt it with their reported 80% illiteracy rate.
Access to technology is meaningless until we learn how to use it to empower our lives.
The http://www.compurest.com training notes I mentioned earlier, plus one more class that I haven’t posted yet, were given to all who came to me to learn how to compute. I stopped counting at 3,000 people over a four-year period, 1994-1998. I read that millions of dollars were raised for education during that time. I had to accomplish what I did on a $10,000 grant, plus whatever I earned and resources I had. More and better allocated financial and educational resources need to be committed to this issue. “Based on results” needs to be factored into funding and training qualification.