Dialogue

I bring several current examples of case studies to the classroom. This strategy allows students to reflect on how they can employ how theoretical concepts into practical situations.

In my Internet and Society course (COM 487), we discuss the concept of the digital divide. In a past semester, I presented our group with two initiatives for reducing inequality. The first one distributed laptops for underprivileged students in the United States. The second installed computer inside holes in walls in India. I asked questions that prompted students to analyze the efficacy of each approach.

This analysis of two case studies engaged students in discussion and allowed them to apply concepts learned from the readings and lecture. To this end, we discussed four frameworks for bridging the digital divide (Sassi, 2007). By pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the American and Indian initiatives, students also evaluated each theoretical approach presented in class.

You can find the handout for this activity here.

Reference:

Sassi, S. (2005). Cultural differentiation or social segregation? Four approaches to the digital divide. New Media & Society7(5), 684-700.