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The mobile web: just shifting the digital divide

I have found the process of splurting my ideas on here, and pondering people’s comments, and also pondering other people’s ideas, quite enjoyable and useful so far. Ā I think I’ve been thinking too much as a teacher, as a ‘practitioner-researcher’, with the Ā mindset I’ve had when designing and engaging inĀ small action research projects over the last few years. Ā I need move away from that.Ā So,Ā here’s another stab at something:

The mobile web: just shifting the digital divide

There have been a lot of claims that mobile ‘closes the gap’ or ‘bridges the digital divide’, and to a certain extent it does – it brings the Web to people and places it couldn’t reach before. But you can’t do everything on mobile, so mobile-only Web users are perhaps disadvantaged compared to people who use a variety of devices to access the Web (eg a laptop for certain tasks and a smartphone for others). Ā And who are mobile-only Web users? Generally people who areĀ already disadvantaged (can’t afford or don’t have the skills to use computers). Ā So, arguably, mobile hasn’t removed the so-called ‘digital divide’ just shifted it a bit.

I might look at this from the perspective of human-computer interaction as this would clarify some of the issues that make certain Web activities easier, more difficult, or even impossible, on mobile, and also from a sociological perspective, which would bring insights into the implicationsĀ forĀ people’s lives or for particular groups in society.

Does that sound reasonable?

One thought on “The mobile web: just shifting the digital divide

  1. Vera Shcherbina says:


    It definitely makesĀ sense, especially becauseĀ mobile internet usage surpassed PCĀ in 2014 (there are some interesting statistics about it), and it changes the matter of the Web as we know it. So it could be very practical research for IT companies.


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