The Digital Divide Is Worst in South L.A., USC Study Finds – California News

The Digital Divide Is Worst in South L.A., USC Study Finds – California News

Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 8:01 a.m.

Schoolchildren living in South Los Angeles are 26 percent less likely to have access to high-speed internet at home than their peers around the county, according to a policy brief published on July 28 by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC. They are also twice as likely to rely on smartphones as the alternative means to connect online.

This so-called “homework gap” is one finding in a larger study that addresses what it describes as an expanding “digital underclass” of low-income Angelenos who are mostly black or Latino.

“You can’t really do homework on a small device on a mobile broadband connection,” says Hernan Galperin, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor at the Annenberg School. “It can be difficult to apply for job or to apply for social services; there’s a number of examples of when mobile connectivity can be limiting.”

Researchers from the Annenberg School and the USC Price Spatial Analysis Lab collaborated to map the results from a survey of about 35,000 households of Los Angeles County.

They found the share of school-age children that live in connected households in South Los Angeles has fallen from 76 percent in 2013 to 71 percent in 2015. By contrast, that share has increased countywide from 84 percent to 88 percent during the same period.

Schoolchildren living in South Los Angeles are 26 percent less likely to have access to high-speed internet at home compared to their peers around the county.

USC ARNIC/SLAB and University of Virginia

The study also found the “digital underclass” is…

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