The Digital Divide at San Leandro High School

The Digital Divide at San Leandro High School

The Digital Divide. Click the image to view the presentation.

The above image is a link to a presentation I created in my EdTech 501 class on The Digital Divide. I have thought for some time now that the idea that students are advanced with technology is a popular myth. Yes, students can use cell phones, can text, can like posts, and can watch videos. But when you ask them to do something simple like spell check a document, many are lost.

The failure is in our schools. The digital divide is no more. The major threat is digital inequality. If our students are not savvy with computers, programming, web design, multimedia, and online learning then they are the new digital impoverished.

Technology is moving so fast, that the digital inequality gap, once started, will continue to grow. It is no longer the haves against the have nots, it is now the cans against the can nots.

My thoughts on this were backed up and clarified by researching the digital divide and digital inequality. I knew about the digital divide, but I didn’t know there was a term for what I have been seeing in my students.

I have always recognized the need to sometimes go off the curriculum to teach a subject that was important.  Twenty years ago, I was teaching html and VRML to my science students. I knew it was the right thing to do, but I always kept it a secret. Now that I know about this very real issue, I am going to infuse more cutting edge technology use into my curriculum and do it with pride and openness. Others should see what is possible. And it’s no longer a matter of moving away from the curriculum. The curriculum can be followed with the use of technology. Projects can be created by students utilizing technology.

If I could spend more time with this presentation, I would include sound and video. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t include these using Haiku Deck.

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4 Responses

  1. Billie Hadley says:

    Your cover photo is stunning! Did you take it?

    I love what you had to say about kids knowing how to consume but not how to create with technology. I hadn’t really thought of that before.

    And they are lacking so many basic skills. We have a high level of technology available in my district, but it still feels like I am starting over every year with my classes.

    Thanks Tony!
    Billie

    • Tony says:

      Yes! I took it while my wife and I were in Yosemite for our Anniversary. I did this blog post there with very little internet.

  2. Keith Hanz says:

    Hi Tony,

    My greatest challenge in the classroom is to bring students to a professional level of skill using the technology in the digital paradigm of photography. Students start off thinking they can produce professional grade photographs with their phones. They can not distill what controls quality in the field. When they learn that the analog to digital conversion software embedded in the digital chip, optics, papers & pigment-based inks, resolution, and Raw workflow in that order are quality governing parameters, their eyes get wide. It really is about the “can and can not”. Great presentation. And you get the candy bar for authoring the presentation from the coolest location.

    • Tony says:

      Yes. You kind of have to give up getting them all to that level though. Some can get close though!

      Tony

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