Digital Difference


What is Digital Difference? 

The digital difference which is also known as digital divide is the term used to describes the gap between demographics that have access to the internet. There are many factors that are taken into consideration like their age, sociality class. In 2016, 53% of the world’s population was not using the internet. (FutureLearn, 2017)


Figure 1: The Digital Gender Gap Persists. (Informative, communication and technology, 2016)

Through constant global effort, we can see from the above figure, there is an increase for the Internet user. In the 21st century, using technology helps us communicate and learn more efficiently compared to the traditional way of learning. Studies have shown that by using technology-enabled learning, it allows learners to tap on resources and expertise anywhere around the world. (US, Department of Education, 2017)

However, older generation individuals are afraid of the changes due to the fear of unknown and low trust. They would not believe completely what a website says. For example, ibanking, it is common for us to transfer money through the website or online application, older generation does not trust such application and they would rather visit the automated teller machine for transferring of money.


In this digital era, I personally think that using online technology as a tool to learn is a good motivation to study. As we could always search what we are uncertain about online and apply for online courses when we want to further improve ourselves.

For example, I can apply for Autocad online courses to improve our skills. Usually, these courses are not free, but there are free trial classes for users to try it out to see if it is worthy to pay for the full course.

The Internet has become a part of me as I am about to research and communicate online at ease. Without travelling far from home, I am able to learn and gain knowledge at the same time.

What are your thoughts about this?

(Word count 311)


Futurelearn (2017) Digital Inequalities. [online] Available:

(Assessed on 10/11/17)

Informative, communication and technology (2016) The Digital Gender Gap Persists. [online] Available:

(Assessed on 10/11/17)

US, Department of Education (2017) Engaging and Empowering Learning Through Technology. [online] Available:

(Assessed on 10/11/17)

12 thoughts on “Digital Difference

  1. Alicia Chua

    Hello Shih Ying, I agree with you that the online technology serves its purpose as a motivation to learn. But, is it a suitable motivational tool for all ages?

    Prensky’s Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants states that age is a key factor in learning and interacting with online. However, this assumption is no longer valid as the older generation can be as technologically advanced as the younger people (or even more advanced)!

    Following the two concepts, what are your thoughts on the age factor in digital differences and how it affects learning? I feel that age is no longer a valid factor to consider when it comes to learning, but only with the help of a facilitator. Age affects our interpretation of certain values or ideas. However, with the help of a facilitator, we would be able to retrieve similar ideas from the same source. What are your thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tanshihying Post author

      Hi Alicia,
      Thanks for commenting, I agree with you that age should not be a factor for learning. However, I feel that the government need to be supportive to further enhance learning for elderly.

      The link below shows how Singapore government, helps elderly in stepping out of their comfort zone and stay connected in the society.
      As Singapore is moving forward to create a Smart, Nation-ready country, courses are also available in community centres to aid seniors with Smart Nation programme.

      Straitstime – Tech courses help seniors get Smart Nation-ready [online] Available:

      TODAYonline – The Big Read: Feeling lost in a digital world, some elderly shun technology [online] Available:



  2. Julian Seah

    Hi Shih Ying, I totally agree with you that the internet has aided us in terms of learning better and more efficient. I myself used the internet very often for research as well as recreational. I read about a theory where instead of demographics, it is based on how parents manage their kids’ use of technology. There are 3 distinct groups which are “digital exile”, “digital orphan” and “digital heirs”. Digital orphans have grown up with a great deal of tech access but very little guidance. Digital exiles are at the opposite extreme, they have been raised with minimal technology. Digital heirs have impressive tech skills, thanks largely to their parents and teachers. Each of this group leads and guide our younger generation to different ways on how they use technology in the future. What are your thoughts about this theory?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tanshihying Post author

      Hello Julian,

      I used the internet for research and recreational as well! No doubt that your post gives me a different perspective on learning.

      Before reading your post, I think that children should not get engaged on the screen too often as they should be more active and play with other children like we did when we were young.

      However, after researching more, I had to agree with you that parents should help their children to be ready for the future technology savvy world. Parents need to know that time has changed and technology is ever-changing. To aid their children with this, parents play an important role in creating the freedom to explore.



  3. xinontheweb

    Hi Shih Ying, I feel that the first image you have included is a good representation of what digital differences/divide is. While I feel that the internet might not be the best motivation for learning for everyone, I do agree that the internet is a good platform for people to learn.

    As you have mentioned in your post, there are multiple online sources that are made available to us and these might even be “free”. While these free courses might seem like a good deal, I think that it is important for us to check the credibility and reliability of the website and the information that is being taught to us. What are your thoughts about credibility and reliability of online courses?

    In your post, you also quoted an example of age as a cause of digital difference. Do you think that age is the greatest factor?

    (Word count: 148)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tanshihying Post author

      Hi Xin Yi,

      Thanks for the compliment! The source of the website has to be credible and reliable before relying on the website. In order to check, here are some tips from ThoughCo. where they state 8 different ways to check the website reliability. Another point that they did not point out is individuals can also obtain credible site through word of mouth. Which I personally feel that it is an important point to gauge whether the website is credible as it has already been tried and tested.

      As mention in my comment to Alicia, ultimately, if you have the drive on learning something, age should not be a limiting factor. As I feel that motivation will overpower all circumstances. You may check out my comment to Alicia above! I have attached two links on how Singapore government helps elderly to be Smart Nation-ready. (:

      ThoughCo. – For Journalists: Eight Ways to Determine Website Reliability [online] Available:


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Topic 1: Online or Offline? – Alicia Chua

  5. Pingback: Reflection: Topic 1 – The impact of digital differences on our learning – Welcome to Xin's Page

  6. Pingback: Reflection on Topic 1 – Julian Seah

  7. Pingback: Thoughts on digital difference | t.shihying

  8. Pingback: Topic 2: Real or Fake? | t.shihying

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