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12.11.6: Summary

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    Information technology has driven change on a global scale. As documented by Castells and Friedman, technology has given us the ability to integrate with people all over the world using digital tools. These tools have allowed businesses to broaden their labor pools, their markets, and even their operating hours. But they have also brought many new complications for businesses, which now must understand regulations, preferences, and cultures from many different nations. This new globalization has also exacerbated the digital divide. Nielsen has suggested that the digital divide consists of three stages (economic, usability, and empowerment), of which the economic stage is virtually solved.

    Study Questions

    1. What does the term globalization mean?
    2. How does Friedman define the three eras of globalization?
    3. Which technologies have had the biggest effect on globalization?
    4. What are some of the advantages brought about by globalization?
    5. What are the challenges of globalization?
    6. What does the term digital divide mean?
    7. What are Jakob Nielsen’s three stages of the digital divide?
    8. What was one of the key points of The Rise of the Network Society?
    9. Which country has the highest average Internet speed? How does your country compare?
    10. What is the OLPC project? Has it been successful?


    1. Compare the concept of Friedman’s “Globalization 3.0″ with Nielsen empowerment stage of the digital divide.
    2. Do some original research to determine some of the regulations that a US company may have to consider before doing business in one of the following countries: China, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey.
    3. Go to to determine your Internet speed. Compare your speed at home to the Internet speed at two other locations, such as your school, place of employment, or local coffee shop. Write up a one-page summary that compares these locations.
    4. Give one example of the digital divide and describe what you would do to address it.
    5. How did the research conducted by Paul Kim address the three levels of the digital divide?

    2. Manuel Castells. 2000. The Rise of the Network Society (2nd ed.). Blackwell Publishers, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA.
    3. Friedman, T. L. (2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
    4. Kibum Kim. 2005. Challenges in HCI: digital divide. Crossroads 12, 2 (December 2005), 2-2. DOI=10.1145/1144375.1144377
    6. One Laptop Per Child: Vision vs. Reality By Kenneth L. Kraemer, Jason Dedrick, Prakul Sharma Communications of the ACM, Vol. 52 No. 6, Pages 66-73
    8. Kim, P., Buckner, E., Makany, T., & Kim, H. (2011). A comparative analysis of a game-based mobile learning model in low-socioeconomic communities of India. International Journal of Educational Development. doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2011.05.008.

    This page titled 12.11.6: Summary is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by David T. Bourgeois (Saylor Foundation) .