Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Equal Access to the Digital World

How can you provide equal access to the digital world to all learners?

I HAVE NO IDEA. Seriously I don’t know. I would like to think that every student and teacher works and lives in a small town like I do and offers both the teachers and the students the newest technologies, but they don’t. I would like to say, “use the library” but I know that won’t fix the economic gap that a lot of families face in a diverse school. I would also like to go out and buy all my students person notebooks and say, “here go” but we all know I won’t be able to do that either. Thus far I’ve learned about a global, mobile school where students must have, a mac notebook, ipad and iphone or 3:1. A school that offers a touch screen white board with hand held devises 1:1. Also, another school that only provides a computer lab and a cart of laptops. I also shadowed a class that provided notebooks for student only during that class only for a certain educational game. It seems to me that the majority of schools, in my current area of NH, have some kind of technology available for teachers to integrate into their lessons. However, I can’t speak for the low income areas in big cities such as Boston or New York City.
On another thought, we have been taught in these education course that student centered learning is the best practice. We have also been told that not every student learns the same or have the same level of understanding. We learned that the best teachers are the teachers who know their students; they know roughly the background of each student. Hopefully using this information will help provide equal access to the digital world.
I think the smart boards are a great way to integrate technology in a classroom that holds a majority of students without internet access. I feel that the smart board will bring in technology with a good investment backing and allows all students to participate.
I think there are a lot of programs out there that provide computer for students in need. I think all teachers should get involved in these programs whether they are on the receiving on giving end. We had a speaker in another class that informed us that every grade in his school supports a special cause. As a business high school teacher I know I want my students to learn about business practices, this could lead to supporting a non-profit, kids want to help.
I support the class trip to the computer room or library, maybe a field trip to the public library can make student aware of the possibilities. If nothing at all tell the students about technologies in the classroom. The students are more likely to enjoy technology based instruction and it will prepare them.

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