NPR: Pew study shows fewer African-Americans using the Internet than whites. What does this mean?

I appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More program today to join a discussion sparked by a new study from the Pew Research Center which found that fewer African-Americans are using the internet than whites, and that there is a bigger gap when you look at internet usage in the home. Simultaneously, study also shows relatively high cell phone and smartphone usage among minorities. NPR host Michel Martin asked her guests whether this study is this indicative of a larger racial gap in tech, and what this data means.

You can listen to the streaming audio of the episode below.

I think that just because there’s data suggesting that increasing numbers African-Americans or people of color using mobile devices, that doesn’t mean people are experiencing the full range of what computing technology can do for us. While the rise of mobile devices mean that more content is being consumed and shared, they’re not yet great devices for content creation. I think the big question is whether we’re training the next generation of technologists to be consumers or creators.

We can all hop on Twitter on our mobile devices, but we can’t become programmers, app developers, website designers, podcasters, or any of the other amazing things that today’s technology helps us to become.

For more insight, definitely give today’s program a listen using the player above, or visit NPR’s website for more.