Category Archives: Canada

Barbie and Tech

I don’t often get to see my family. So, we all had a lot of fun working on this video together.


Voiceover – My mom

Skipper – Ryan (My Daughter)

Ken – My Dad

Lizzo (Voice Changer) – I may have had 2 pay $2 for the voice changer, but at least it sounded better than my singing! Ha Ha!

This has certainly been the best class I have had during my master’s degress so far. Thank you all and Katia for the fun!

Ponderings from China

(Playground-v2.5, 2024)

Going into the debate sign-ups, I had hoped to snag a spot in the AI debate, but it was a snooze-you-lose situation, and I snoozed. Was it the jetlag or my desire to eat some pie before I logged on to sign up? We will never know. Working with Ashlyn on the opposition side of the debate was a great deal of fun. Honestly and shamefully, I hadn’t considered equity and technology. I work at a school much like Allysia’s, where students all have devices, often two or three, to engage within school and at home. This debate had me thinking about a couple of areas regarding equity and technology.

First, my school actively participates in a charitable organization called the Pfrang Association. The charity aims to raise money to send young people from the northern part of Jiangsu province to school. The idea for it came about from tragedy. A local German family was murdered one night, the Pfang’s, when some young men broke in to steal from them and didn’t expect them to be home. The family and school were rightfully upset and angry until they learned that the young men who broke in had nothing to their name and little education. From this knowledge, they transformed their anger into helping hands to help teens access education by offering them all the necessary supplies and computers and paying tuition. Living where I live, I don’t see a lot of evident poverty in China, but it does exist. Meeting and seeing people come in from rural communities is shocking to me as a foreigner but also to even my Chinese husband. They don’t have cell phones, they often don’t have education, and they struggle to maneuver into the technologically advancing Chinese society. Seeing a large, white woman like me is often deeply shocking for them.

The Digital Divide isn’t just a Canadian and American concept; it is global. The video interview with Billy Buffalo also showed his community members struggling to get cell phone service in the middle of Alberta because the service towers nearby were all facing away from the reservation. One gentleman notes in the interview that the internet was vital to him because while he admitted to being addicted to it, it was helping him with his alcohol addiction. It is difficult to say that technology has led to more equity when these are still issues of today.


(Chat-GPT, 2024)

Second, I think about the censorship that comes with my location and how that impacts my students (and my family). Just as social media giants can develop the habitus of their users, so can agencies controlling access to certain technology. I remember a key conversation with my husband about Nancy Pelosi visiting a certain area. His technology told him it was a hoax, whereas mine even came with pictures as evidence. Is it equity when all users are left in the dark regarding certain issues? Some may argue that it is, but in my mind, this situation creates further gaps. Information sharing is critical to bridging gaps. I love Buffalo’s expression that information is a gift. The affirmative side of the debate today was right in being solution-focused. However, as Muzzafar found in her 2016 article, the initiatives aren’t sticking. They aren’t being made mandatory, which means the solutions remain in the realm of theory rather than practice.

“The gift of information” – Bruce Buffalo

Summary: The Al Jazeera piece follows Bruce Buffalo as he attempts to bridge the Digital Divide in his community of Maskwacis. Buffalo embodies a Robinhood-type persona by “stealing from the rich and giving to the poor” regarding broadband access. He runs a single-person non-profit project hoping to gain better internet access for Maskwacis. The video speaks to nationwide issues that stem from colonization, such as drug and alcohol addiction and loss of identity. The video also follows Bruce as he attends the Digital Futures conference in Canada, his worries about being the only “First Nations” person there, and his need for donations to complete his project. He is pleasantly surprised to find people who want to help fight the Digital Divide in Canada. By the end of the video, Bruce is successful in creating his access point and expresses further dreams of building the network from within the community and offering jobs to locals. However, a captioned note at the end reads that Bruce could not secure funding to maintain the access point and had to shut it down.

Evaluation: The article offers a life perspective of how the digital divide impacts Canadian Indigenous communities, especially those who live on reserve. Buffalo speaks candidly about the government actively avoiding putting better access in his community even though it is in the middle of the province of Alberta. The video offers several clips of Buffalo in the community spreading his message, as well as him trying to create ways to gain access for the community. The Al Jazeera video is raw and offers a remarkable firsthand account of the Digital Divide in Canada, near us in Saskatchewan.

2016 Issues Still Problematic Today?

Muzaffar, S. (2016, December 28). Opinion | what good is declaring broadband a “basic service” without regulating retail prices?: Opinion | CBC news. CBCnews.

Summary: The opinion article discusses the 2016 Canadian legislation around the basic right to broadband as simply a target and not a requirement for Canadian citizens. The author also mentions the government’s inability to set price regulations for telecommunication services. The article further describes the 2016 climate of Canada being anti-immigrant and having poor previous records of supporting Indigenous communities. There are further comments about access needing proper infrastructure, which the author notes does not exist.

Evaluation: The author of the opinion piece is the founder of TechGirls Canada (TGC) and has various author qualifications in the field she is discussing, highlighting her ethos to speak on the matter. This article openly describes itself as an opinion piece, meaning their statements are biased. The author is upset by the lack of regulations surrounding the 2016 policy. However, their opinions are still relevant today due to the telecommunication companies’ monopoly over Canada. The author had little trust before writing this piece, which made their opinions more negative.

Canadian Digital Divide – Tech and Inequality

Turner, J. (2023, March 14). Bridging the gap: Unraveling the digital divide. Busrides.

Summary: “The digital divide refers to the gap between individuals or communities that have access to modern information and communication technologies (ICT) and those that do not.” (Turner, 2023). The article titled “Bridging the Gap: Unraveling the Digital Divide“ by Joshua Turner in 2023 addresses the digital divide global issue that connects access to the internet and low incomes, which in turn perpetuates the digital divide. Four common themes connected to his issue are lack of access to fast internet, limited technology training, short life of devices, and language barriers (Turner, 2023). The digital divide impacts Canadians, especially those in rural areas. The article offers four future-oriented solutions for Canadians: increasing technology access, offering training, supporting equitable policy, and investing in the private sector.

Evaluation: The article is connected to the Government of Canada website. It is posted in the Trending Technology blog space. The information on the blog space offers the amount of time it takes to read the article, which is 5 minutes. It was posted nine months ago, which means the information is relevant to today’s social climate. There are linked courses at the end of the blog that encourage users to become more digitally literate, helping to mitigate the digital divide. Turner also offers helpful secondary resources for continued research into the global issue. However, upon clicking Turner’s name at the end of the article, only other articles he has written are associated, and there is no biographical information.

Reflection: I believe the information in this article is relevant to my research on my debate topic, “Technology has not led to a more equitable society.” The article is related to my classmates’ climate, being related to Canada, as well as my experiences living in China. The digital divide perpetuates inequality in the world but is often portrayed as helping bridge the gap.