The real world

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go to DC and meet with some people on the Presidential Transition Team. I got to talk about my research on Internet uses and skills with people who seemed genuinely interested in what we know about this topic and how it might apply to future initiatives. It was an exciting experience.

It is great to see an administration again that cares about information technologies (see related comments in Obama’s weekly address from two weeks ago). However, it’s important to realize that achieving a knowledgeable Internet citizenry is not simply a technological problem and thus cannot be resolved by a solely technical solution. There is plenty of research now that shows how mere access to the Internet does not level the playing field when it comes to achieving universal Internet literacy. Rather, coupling technical access with education about uses is an important part of the puzzle. Of course, even if one accepts all this, solutions are far from obvious. I got lots of really good questions from the people in the room and was thrilled by the conversation.

Afterward, walking down the hall, I saw on the doors the names of lots of people who have been in the news recently. It’s wonderful and encouraging to see the number of smart and knowledgeable people on this team.

2 Responses to “The real world”

  1. scott Says:

    “coupling technical access with education”

    I want to serve this need!

    “solutions are far from obvious”

    Seriously. Maybe I can find some local initiative to get involved with.

  2. Lynn Says:

    Eszter, how exciting! i can’t wait to hear about it when we’re together next month!! In my view, I can’t imagine the Obama team finding anyone better than you to consult with on digital media!