Edtech 501: Digital Inequality Reflection + Presentation

When reading through my assigned research this week, I found that in the case of the “Digital Divide” and “Digital Inequality”, P.Norris gives the best summary of what the debate covers. Norris says that the divide can be split up into three levels: “the global divide which encompasses differences among industrialized and lesser developed nations; the social divide which points to inequalities among the population within one nation; and a democratic divide which refers to the differences among those who do and do not use digital technologies to engage and participate in public life.”

The global divide has to do with countries that have little financial help in order to advance their technologies. The social divide points to the inequalities that we have in these countries. In America, there may be more advantages in a big city school than in a rural school. Lower-income areas may not receive the same type of financial assistance that a suburban school would. And so, because there is less financial aid, technologies are cut and students are given less opportunity than others. The democratic divide may encompass groups that aren’t able to participate or engage in technology due to age or handicap, or lack of skills.

As a teacher, I realize that there are many inequalities in education. I knew that technology was one of these areas in which there are always clear winners and losers, but never to what extent. After reading through the research, it is clear to me that there are many reasons why the educational inequality hasn’t been gapped and technology plays a huge role. Thinking of just a few ways that technology could bridge that gap: allowing teachers access to assessment programs that could increase test scores, thus increasing federal funds, allowing teachers access to more information about grants, thus increasing money used for classroom projects, field trips and technology, and allowing teachers to access Webinars, increasing teacher’s knowledge in content area, thus increasing student’s test scores and increasing federal funding.

Technology plays a huge role in the technology gap. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to notice it.

Digital Inequality Group Presentation

I always knew that there were inequalities in this world, but I never thought about the role that technology plays in the inequality until I participated in this group project this week. It was particularly interesting to find that only 15 percent of computers in schools in the U.S are less than a year old, and that only 39% of schools reported wireless access available to the entire school. I think that there is clearly a long way to go before this issue can be solved. The solutions that were given to us could effectively help each state, if the funding was made available. As a teacher, all I can do is try to educate my students about their technological options and try teaching them about how they can use these technologies to improve their learning experiences.

This assignment aligns with Standard 3: Utilization (3.2, 3.4) and with Standard 4: Management(4.2). Through this project we demonstrated Utilization through the use of processes and resources for learning by researching, analyzing and creating a Voice Thread presentation to be presented to a board of directors for a state education committee. Not only did we have to do research but also discern relevant from irrelevant information and provide the board of directors with the most comprehensive and concise options along with a rationale. We also demonstrated management as we worked together to organize, supervise, coordinate and communicate with each other to complete the assigned project.

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