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Those efforts have indeed shrunk the divide. But they have created an unintended side effect, one that is surprising and troubling to researchers and policy makers and that the government now wants to fix. As access to devices has spread, children in poorer families are spending considerably more time than children from more well-off families using their television and gadgets to watch shows and videos, play games and connect on social networking sites, studies show. This growing time-wasting gap, policy makers and researchers say, is more a reflection of the ability of parents to monitor and limit how children use technology than of access to it. “I’m not antitechnology at home, but it’s not a savior,” said Laura Robell, the principal at Elmhurst Community Prep, a public middle school in East Oakland, Calif., who has long doubted the value of putting a computer in every home without proper oversight.
OII research focuses on individual, collective and institutional behaviour on the internet. Now that digital connections are embedded in almost every aspect of everyday life, such research is crucial to understand the social, economic and political world. We are a social science department of the University of Oxford with a multi-disciplinary faculty from political science, sociology, law, geography, economics, communications, computer science, anthropology, physics, informatics, history and development.
It has been some time since we last blogged about our work relating to Assisted Digital . While we’ve been quiet, we have been busy working with our stakeholders to develop our thinking about the Assisted Digital (supporting access to Digital by Default services) and Digital Inclusion (tackling the issues that prevent everyone getting online) agendas. Of course, during this period, work has also continued on tackling the Digital Divide by encouraging people to get online.