Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Technology and the new class divide

CNET News.com: "I used to think information technology would change everything.
Like many back in the late 1990s, I was convinced the Internet and the growing use of computers could play a major role in leveling the playing field between the haves and have-nots. Not only were new doors unlocked for more open and democratic participation via the Web, and information made suddenly available to everyone, but unprecedented economic opportunities also emerged from an economy on tech steroids. That's why in 1999 I helped establish a technology training academy that's trained and found IT jobs for hundreds of low-income and underserved individuals in Northern California.
It was a heady, hopeful time. Thanks to then-generous public and private funding support, more than 6,000 community-based technology programs sprang up across the country in less than a decade--with the goal of making sure minorities, low-income individuals, the disabled, seniors and other underserved groups could access and use technology to rapidly traverse the digital divide. Public schools and libraries were quickly wired, and computers landed in people's homes at a breathtaking pace. "

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