Webinar on online access during Covid-19
Digital divide during the pandemic was the focus of the first in a series of five webinars jointly hosted by International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) and Adamas University.
Anna Gladkova, director of international affairs office, faculty of journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, and the IAMCR ambassador in Russia spoke on the Theoretical and Empirical Approaches to Digital Divide.
The session was convened by Ujjwal K. Chowdhury, pro vice-chancellor and dean of School of Media, Communication & Fashion at Adamas University, Uma Shankar Pandey, IAMCR ambassador in India, and Usha Raman, professor of communication at University of Hyderabad and vice-president of IAMCR. Check out the webinar session here
Here are the 5 key takeaways:
What has changed in the pandemic: A survey conducted in April 2020, aimed at understanding the increase of digital penetration in the 7.77 billion world population, revealed that 5.16 billion people presently use mobile devices, while 4.57 billion are internet users and 3.81 billion are active social media users.
Impact of information and communications technology (ICT): Information and communications technology emphasises the role of unified communication and integration of telecommunication. Access to and use of ICT is a prerequisite for economic, social and cultural development.
Widespread development of ICT can create new development opportunities with enormous potential and reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth, make distance learning affordable, consolidate democratic institutions, and allow for equal opportunities for self-representation of various social groups — both offline and online.
What social inequalities mean: A digital divide exists between the privileged class that has access to the internet and the less privileged ones. Some students enjoy access to a wider range of educational and cultural information than their less-privileged peers, and can use the knowledge gained to receive benefits and tangible outcomes.
Roadblocks for virtual classes: Online classes are the only feasible mode of learning during the pandemic. Students have had to quickly adapt to this change. However, not all have access to internet or high-speed internet services.
Digital literacy: Understanding digital technologies bridges the gap created by the digital divide. It aims at including every individual in digitisation.
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