I was saddened and then frustrated when I read the articles Digital Divide and Free Computers Don’t Close the Rich-Poor Education Gap, linked to below. It is concerning that school systems got so caught up in pushing the integration of technology into classroom and home learning that they forgot that limited to no internet access exists for some families. One teacher who saw the limitations of all these good intentions mapped out the free internet hot spots around the school and its neighboring communities.
Is it any wonder that students who can’t reliably or safely access the internet for homework are not as interweb and tech savvy as their peers. No! You would’t give kids a bike without wheels and say “Okay, now you need to bike to and from school each day. Have fun.” We are in dire need of more rationalism and realism mixed into our educational and technological utopia.
Besides school systems realizing the academic and financial lurch they are putting themselves, their students, and their test scores in, they have begun to kvetch about the non academic activities students are doing on their new computers. The poor and lower working class students fall more and more behind their peers who have the socioeconomic resources to succeed in this digital age. I think that more study hall or even classroom time for students to work with and learn from teachers on these digital assignments would be beneficial to all parties involved and would safe many students a trip to their local McDonald’s just to get their homework done.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/digital-divide-low-income-students_n_2782528.html?view=screen : Digital Divide By Betsy Isaccson from the Huffington Post.
https://techcrunch.com/2013/05/20/study-free-computers-dont-close-the-rich-poor-education-gap/ : Study: Free Computers Don’t Close the Rich-Poor Education Gap by Gregory Ferenstein from TechCrunch.