ISTE Standards

What about the Digital Divide?

  • 1.  What about the Digital Divide?

    Posted 02-18-2015 12:56
    Recently, I posted an article asking if students should periodically take a timeout from technology: http://connect.iste.org/connect/communities/alldiscussions/viewthread/?GroupId=199&MID=3247. 

    Someone wrote to me and reminded me that there are so many schools in urban, rural, distant and poor districts without proper technology. They don't need a break - they need access. That community member is exactly right!

    Here's a post from a student's point of view: http://www.communitycommons.org/2015/01/digital-divide-in-high-school/ 

    How can we help with the issue of access?

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    Lisa Fink
    Project Manager
    ReadWriteThink.org at NCTE
    Urbana IL
    (217) 278-3622
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    ISTE 2019 Reg Open


  • 2.  RE: What about the Digital Divide?

    Posted 02-18-2015 13:32
    One of the things my district going to implement is a "lease to own" option where families can lease a Chromebook and then after 3 years the family owns the device. During the lease time, the district would support and maintain the device.  Here's the article: http://www.lovelandschools.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=5IUY3Y&dasi=3IU2

    It is easy for us to forget that access is still an issue and I really appreciate the student's point of view. While we as educators feel we are giving students flexibility and options for access.

    Personally as a GIS, I have the issue of zero funding for my program. We have funds for identifying gifted children but NONE for supplies or services. Donors Choose has made school access possible for me. Without the support of generous donors, the only tech access my students would have would be sharing my district issued laptop.  Access for students at home is a big issue and unfortunately access at school is still a problem.  

    Thank goodness we have ways to problem solve and get ideas/suggestions from others!

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    Heidi Weber
    Gifted Intervention Specialist
    Loveland City Schools
    Loveland OH
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    ISTE 2019 Reg Open


  • 3.  RE: What about the Digital Divide?

    Posted 02-19-2015 16:04
    It is the same for rural systems. I currently teach in a system that is rural/suburban which provides for a mixed use of technology in the schools. It is something they are trying to figure out.

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    Sarah Winchester
    Teacher
    Paulding County School District
    Buchanan GA
    (678) 938-2004
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    ISTE 2019 Reg Open


  • 4.  RE: What about the Digital Divide?

    Posted 04-03-2015 14:32
    Everyone has made great points on this topic.

    The biggest barrier I have encountered working in schools were there is limited access, is viewing technology as a learning tool. For many students living in poverty the only access to technology and internet they have is during school. Unfortunately due to low technology funding and even security issues 80% of technology usage involves assessments; the taking of online benchmark tests or state testing. A student views a computer in school as a tool to be assessed with more so than a tool to help meet an objective, allow for self expression or facilitate their learning. 

    Also, students living in poverty do not have internet access at home which limits the options some teachers can pursue to utilize tools that provide support for students at home such as Edmodo and flipping the classroom. Students and parents may have internet access via their phones however we know that is extremely limiting depending on the application or the task. You can't fill out a job or college application to well on your phone. Students are tech savvy using their mobile devices for social media so our challenge is to harness those same skills for learning. Tools such as Kahoot! help with this, but individual school cell phone policies play a factor. Yet, in some communities every child does not have a cell phone or a data package to access the information.

    Local business such as Comcast have stepped up to assist students. Two years ago I participated in a grant with Comcast Internet Essentials that gave students free home internet access for a semester to assist with classroom lessons and homework support. It was well received. However as we look at the CCSS and helping students be college and career ready, access to the internet is critical for ALL students and an assumption we can't make when discussing integration.  

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    Ashara Shepard
    ELA Instructional Specialist-Detroit Pubic Schools
    COOL School Technologies, L3C, Manager
    Southfield MI
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    ISTE 2019 Reg Open


  • 5.  RE: What about the Digital Divide?

    Posted 04-08-2015 11:33
    Great points, Ashara. Corporate partnerships can be great but I also wonder if there's another, longer term solution.

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    Sarah Stoeckl
    Senior Project Manager, ISTE Standards
    ISTE
    Eugene OR
    (541) 595.3566 x232
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    ISTE 2019 Reg Open


  • 6.  RE: What about the Digital Divide?

    Posted 08-03-2015 13:21
    A new article from ISTE on narrowing the Digital Divide. It details some solutions that schools and communities have used that could be transferred to other areas.

    What do you think? Has you school or district taken any successful measures to address inequity of access to technology? Do you think any of the article's ideas could be used in your school/district?

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    Sarah Stoeckl
    Senior Project Manager, ISTE Standards
    ISTE
    Eugene OR
    (541) 595.3566 x232
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    ISTE 2019 Reg Open