I was reading an article recently on the rise of the App-Internet. The question was posed regarding the death of the Internet. While the majority of responders agree that apps are increasingly adapting and expanding, it is difficult to compare apps and the Internet because they are not the same. The Internet is evolving not dying. The article did peak my interest in how apps could aid in research and provide access to databases from mobile devices. I am certain these apps are under development and may be in the trial phases, but will there be a common app for libraries and databases or, will each institution need to spend the time and money developing an app for their own institutions?
I have researched the evolution and development of handheld devices this semester. I do believe these devices will continue to be an important component in education and could potentially bridge the digital divide. With the passage of time, more will occur in the online setting. “If some people are unable to find information online while an increasing number of services relevant to daily life become easiest to access on the web (e.g., financial services, product information, government forms), then the segment of the population with low digital-literacy levels will become increasingly disadvantaged in our digital world” (Hargittai, 2005).
The curriculum in education will need accommodate the shift in the digital divide. To create an educational environment where students emerge with the tools necessary to achieve a competitive edge, we should evaluate the baseline educational requirements in the area of Internet use and information seeking. This will allow our students to become competent and empower our community and individuals to be relevant participants in the world of technology – where so much will occur in the future.
Hargittai, E. (2005). Survey measures of web-oriented digital literacy. Social Science Computer Review, 23(3), 371-379. doi: 10.1177/0894439305275911