Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More on digital divide

The following information was adapted and taken from Edutopia

The knowledge gap refers to the phenomenon in which the information-rich get richer, and the information-poor get poorer. Without access to digital technology, one in five children are far less likely to develop the digital literacy skills necessary for surviving in the modern economy, and for participating in a globally-networked information society.

Teachers can do much towards creating a world-class education for their students by preparing them to readily access information on their own terms, and to become and remain "informed, engaged and discerning" throughout their lives. Here are just a few ideas to get started:

- Be aware of the different levels of technological access and fluency in your classroom.

- Inform students about local, public venues to access the Internet, and about organizations helping to develop digital literacy skills. For example the Public Library
- Model and discuss strategies for critically evaluating sources, finding useful and diverse information, expressing ideas in different formats, and trouble-shooting common issues that arise when using digital tools.
- Post your technology needs and look for technology partners. Are there businesses who are willing to donate old computers to kids in need. However this doesn't cover broadband issues at home of course!
- Provide time to access digital tools and Internet outside of class time (ie recess, noon hour, before and after school)
- Create, find, and share lesson plans that develop digital literacy skills. However, ensure that the technological skills/tools reflect learning needs and curricular outcomes

Digital divide and McDonald's

The following article explores the digital divide and how some families are forced to find "free wifi" connection at McDonald's. Not a great trade off... health for free wifi...

"Do you want fries with your wifi?" is the title of this Wall Street article.