Bridging the African American digital divide: An analysis of computer and Internet access and usage trends among African American graduates of digital divide programs in New Jersey
Vaneada Shirl Terrell-Simmons, Capella University, United States
Capella University . Awarded
This study analyzed the African American digital divide in New Jersey from the perspective of graduates of digital divide programs. Seventy-five African American respondents were surveyed to collect pre and post-graduate data pertaining to computer and Internet access and usage trends. The digital divide has been identified as the separation between those with and those without technology. Northeastern states, like New Jersey, have experienced great challenges in bringing technology to those who live in the inner city. The challenge has not been only in bringing technology to the have-nots, but getting them to use it. The goal of this study was to determine if the frequency of computer and Internet access and usage increased after graduation. A secondary goal of the study was to assess how graduates perceived the digital divide programs as being effective in increasing their computer and Internet skills. Results from the data suggest that computer access, computer usage, Internet access, and Internet usage increased for those respondents graduating from digital divide programs. The data suggest that the application of such a medium in these type programs has the potential for effectively improving the computer and Internet skills of those who utilize it. While digital divide programs show promise for helping those who use it, others will still have difficulty becoming successful in society due to their lack of access and usage of such technology due to economic reasons. Thus, further research is necessary to assess the persistent digital divide disparity among African Americans.
Terrell-Simmons, V.S. Bridging the African American digital divide: An analysis of computer and Internet access and usage trends among African American graduates of digital divide programs in New Jersey. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University.
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