Access, Use, and Appropriation of Technology

What is Access, Use, and Appropriation?

Access, Use, and Appropriation are different dimensions of the digital divide, which depicts the ability of different communities to accept new technological advances. How the community integrates the new technology will depend on what type of access they have to it, how they decide to use it, and how they mold it according to their needs. Each of these dimensions will vary in importance in different communities, which depends on the existing government and the citizens of that region. In addition, passing through each dimension may take longer for some communities than others. Therefore, these differences cause the digital divide to emerge where some communities may not have access to the internet, while others have access but dont know the proper way to efficiently use it, or where others have access and know how to use it but they cannot appropriate it to their specific needs.



Access is one the three dimensions of the digital divide. Access gives power to an individual to help enable oneself in satisfying their needs for a certain situation. This can be found through three aspects; access to information, technology, and/or communication. This depends on what type of use the individual wants to acknowledge and access. Example: The OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program helps the unfortunate children under 12 years of age in the third world countries to raise funding so that they could have access to internet information. This helps them to connect themselves into the world wide web (www). This program helps these children to connect and access information, technology, and/or communication in the modern world.


But, there are factors other than the access of technology which are equally important, one such factors is the efficient use of the technology. Efficient use of technology is defined as the ability to obtain the maximum possible output for a given quantities of conventional input of technology, regardless of market demand ( Kalirajan, 2004). Specifically focusing on the developing countries, with the introduction of the new rice technology (Green revolution) the food shortage problem has not decrease significantly in many developing countries. And education has been widely regarded as the single major factor that people in developing have in relates to the adoption of new technologies.


Appropriation is a process whereby technology is integrated into a society's environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economical aspects of the community. Appropriation is about creativity and freedom of expression where the technology eventually becomes rooted in one's own communities. Local people struggling on a daily basis with their needs understand those needs better than anyone else and can therefore mold the technological innovations to meet those needs. “Solar cookers” is a great example of appropriation; it is the technology appropriated in underdeveloped countries, especially in rural equatorial regions. This method consumes no fuels and replaces wood, and generates no air pollution, no greenhouse gases, and eliminates fire dangers. Like solar cookers, appropriation of technology helps to save resources, protect environment, and enables technologies to be easier to maintain within one's own culture. Appropriation is also about the power over the tools and content of communication to express ideas. By integrating communication tools with our everyday lives, we are expanding our knowledge, communication and networking skills. Thus, reducing digital divide and closing the "gap" between the rich and poor.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License