Bridging the digital divide – an Australian story

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Papadopoulos, Theo and Broadbent, Robyn (2011) Bridging the digital divide – an Australian story. Behaviour and Information Technology, 32 (1). pp. 4-13. ISSN 0144-929X (print) 1362-3001 (online)


There is increasing evidence that the lack of access to information and communication technology (ICT) or the ‘digital divide’ severely limits education, employment and economic prospects. This paper reports on the evaluation of a project that aims to bridge the digital divide. In particular, the case study data has been used to bring to life the impact that access to the internet, often for the first time, can make in people's lives. If you are isolated, suffer poor health or do not speak English then the internet can take on a very different meaning, it becomes an essential tool to your ability to communicate, feel connected and to your health and well-being. What is evident from this snapshot of practice of the Wired Community@Collingwood project is actually how it can improve these outcomes for the current participants. A multi-method approach was implemented in the first year of the evaluation, included the collection of qualitative data. Connecting with participants to engage them to tell their story provided the project with a rich source of information, but it required a time-consuming methodology that respected the barriers which participants faced. However, the narrative that is now a part of this project brought to life the impact of ICT in this community. Being a part of the digital divide in the twentieth century disconnects you from a part of your world that now exists for others. At Collingwood, these participants are making those connections on a daily basis and are excited about the new possibilities of being a part of the available technology. This study evidences the impact of bridging the digital divide in one of the most disadvantaged communities in Australia.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/0144929X.2011.572186
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
Historical > FOR Classification > 1005 Communications Technologies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of International Business
Historical > SEO Classification > 8999 Other Information and Communication Services
Keywords ResPubID24527, ResPubID24532, ResPubID26692, digital divide, technology, access, research, social capital
Citations in Scopus 23 - View on Scopus
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