Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Sadness of the Digital Divide

Reading about the digital divide was very saddening.  Schrum (2011) talks about how certain schools and populations are not given the same opportunities to access technology.  For instance, "schools with high poverty rates and those in rural areas that have access typically have slower connections to the Internet" (Schrum 2011).  Why are these facts so saddening?  It is saddening because many of these students come from families that may not be able to afford the latest and best technologies.  They already do not have as much access at home.  Thus, they are already disadvantaged when compared to their peers who are wealthier and able to afford these newer technologies.  Therefore, when the school does not provide students with access, it further causes these students to be at a disadvantage especially since for some of these students, it means they are getting no exposure and access. 

Throughout this semester so far, we have been talking about the importance of incorporating technology into our lessons.  Reading about the digital divide made this importance even more apparent especially in regards to poorer school districts.  If we do not help these students access technology and learn how to use it to help them work collaboratively with others as well as use it to be creative, then these students will have less of a chance of succeeding later on in life.  As mentioned many times in the beginning of the course, more and more jobs are requiring one to have basic technology skills.  Therefore, if we do not equip these students with these skills, these students will not have an advantage.

As future educators, it is our job to ensure that we are preparing our students to the best of our abilities.  I now understand why it is so important for us to be technology ambassadors and help schools change to address the needs of 21st century students.  Being technologically savvy ourselves, it is our job to introduce the use of technology into the schools we teach in.  We should use technology in our lessons and be the model for others to follow.  We need to be the ones who help our students gain the skills they need to succeed.