As we all know, February is Black History Month. It’s a month where we honor those who have made an impact on American culture for equal rights, those who have invented, those who have a helped others and those who have inspired everyone to be the best they can be, not only as a person of color but as a human. Last year for Black History Month, I started an online series called 28 Days Diversity where I would feature someone new everyday during the month of February for just being awesome in their own right. Even though it’s black history month, the goal for 28 Days of Diversity is to feature not just African-Americans but other minorities in the web/tech space. Also note that 28 Days of Diversity is not a popularity contest or an influencer list but a list of thought leaders in the social web sector, including entrepreneurs, bloggers, conference organizers, IT professionals and friends not ranked in any particular order who I have either met in person or followed online. Each post will include a picture, bio, two links from the selected person and this paragraph.
For 2011 I wanted to not just feature individuals but also address a topic that affects everyone. For 28 Days of Diversity 2011 each post/person will answer the question “How can we use technology to close the digital divide?” So for the next 28 days, come back to visit SocialWayne.com/tag/28daysofdiversity and 28daysofdiversity.com to see who’s on the list. For day 19, I would like to introduce to some and present to others:
I am a son of God and a follower of His Son. I have 2 children and I have been married to my lovely wife since 2002. For the last couple of years I have been working at Dell as an Inside Sales Rep. I was promoted to the Social Media Marketing Department for the K-12 arena. My passion of technology helped me at my job at Dell. This is a love my father has put into my heart when he brought home a Tandy TRS-80… yes I am that old.
My other love is gaming. I began working with the group Studio IL (http;//www.studioil.com) around January 2009. We have managed to put out two iPhone games at the time of this writing. Along with Studio IL, I have done work for several other companies such as GarageGames and a lot of work for several different local Austin,TX gaming companies. I was able to work for InstantAction for a few month before the company closed its doors in November 2010. I have been in the gaming scene for quite sometime and I owe a great deal of my gaming success to Jay Moore (linkedin). Even more so he has help me develop professionally overall.
The latest update to this ever changing bio is that I am now working for myself. Building the company that I have always wanted to work for and do the things I love doing. I am now fully immerse in the Video Game industry and could not be happier. I think my journey on this section of my life is just now starting and should be a good show to watch and you can you watch it unfold here www.marveloper.com
How can we use technology to close the digital divide?
I think the best way to close the gap would be to continue efforts like OLPC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Laptop_per_Child). I find it funny how we no longer hear about the project itself or anything else like it. In the states we have the ‘smart classroom’ or ‘connected classroom’ we need to focus on research that would allow us to create a connected classroom in a third world country for a similar cost structure as the OLPC project. Another focus we could look into is education. In our own country as well as the rest of the world, children are not being taught the needed skills to function in a connected world.
We also need to realize that the digital divide is a multi-faceted challenge and there isn’t necessarily a “one size fits all” solution. Economics and infrastructure are key barriers but social, cultural and political factors come into play as well. So the digital divide has different implications in each community. We could use technology as a tool to explore this issue and share ideas. We need to leverage digital media and social media to tap into the insights, knowledge and experiences of people from a wide variety of backgrounds including: arts, education, entertainment, marketing, science, anthropology, sociology and, of course, technology. If we leverage technology to communicate about this challenge, crowdsource ideas, and collaborate on solutions, we can take a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to better understanding the digital divide and closing the gap.
You can follow the status of 28 Days of Diversity 2011 on http://28daysofdiversity.com, http://socialwayne.com/category/28-days-of-diversity/ and syndicated on BlackWeb 2.0.