Sunday, November 10, 2013

Digital Inequality

This assignment was very applicable to my school's situation. I was surprised with the number of families and households that have some internet access, but was not surprised that the majority of African-Americans and Latinos have access via a cell phone. While mobile devices are great, mobile computing has some limitations. In my previous district, there was a huge push toward 1:1 computing with a lot of talk about Bring Your Own Device. There was no plan as to how to level the playing field for students who could not bring in a mobile learning device, and no thought about solutions to families who can not afford internet service, or families with multiple students all needing devices. In my current school where nearly 100% of families qualify for free or reduced lunch, there is no talk of mobile learning devices beyond our 25 laptops that are shared by 6 classrooms of 20-30 students each. While many families have cell phones, many are prepaid or do not allow access to the internet, and many get turned on and off quite frequently. Computing on a cell phone does not offer all capabilities as computing on other mobile devices. While I found that in the United States, the digital divide isn't necessarily about being able to access an internet connection, but is now about the type of device that the capabilities and limitations of those devices.

Link to Presentation Link to Voicethread