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Exploring the Digital Divide

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, January 26, 2000

A thought provoking look at the digital divide. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. In our schools and in our homes, technology is changing so much. But not for everyone. And what happens to those who are left behind? PBS is airing a two hour broadcast called The Digital Divide..... (sound) Executive Producer David Bolt...

"We, in the series, we look at four distinct elements of the divide. We look at the digital divide in education, in employment, in gender and in race. Those gaps in all of those areas that I mentioned are widening, not growing narrow."

Bolt says it isn't enough to simply equip classrooms with computers. Teachers have to be trained to use them effectively....

"We see the divide as a two fold phenomenon. On the one hand, it's a question of access. But on the other hand, it's a question of the best and most intelligent use of the technology."

There are solutions. And the broadcast includes some examples...

"On the question of gender, for example, we highlight a number of places around the country that we think are doing real groundbreaking work around gender equity in the classroom and groups such as Tech Girls that are fostering places where girls can go and feel comfortable with technology."

You can find more information on the web at pbs.org/digitaldivide.