The Digital Divide is a term used to describe the difference between people who use technology, including the Internet and computers, and those who do not or cannot. People who do not use technology may not have experience with it or see a good use for it, therefore choosing not to use it. Those people are a small minority, and would get along great with my Father in northern Minnesota. Unfortunately, a large amount of us do not have access, but require it for either distance learning, access to online job applications, government services, news, completing homework or even using the Internet to operate a small business on Ebay, for example. I didn’t realize that with so many policies and standards in place involving technology, that there are still so many who do not have access to it.
For my Digital Divide Small Group Project for EdTech 501, I had 3 other students in my group (the 5th didn’t participate) and we were able to first decide on the ranking order for 6 separate school board recommendations and adding additional suggestions of our own, while acting as a technology task force, attempting to close the gap that the Digital Divide presents. I completed, in ranking order: (1) Provide information literacy courses to enhance computer skills and enable knowledgeable use of digital technologies, (7) Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when the computers are available, and (8) Expand staffing and other resources so that public schools can be open to the public after normal school hours, on weekends, and during the summer months. Then, I provided that information to one member of my group on a Google Doc and added short comments and pics to our Prezi, which was created for and provided to that same group member for editing and finalization. Luckily, I am currently taking EdTech 513: Multimedia, so I suggested to my group that we apply correct multimedia principles to our Prezi.
We did have issues with sharing the Prezi among the group, as the site suggested an upgrade and paying for a subscription to do so. Next time, I recommend either using Chat or Skype to link up prior to beginning this project, because with us all in separate areas online at separate times, it made it a little confusing to read the latest forum post and to not avoid reading the most current information one member had submitted. Perhaps afterwards, there could be an every other day live chat to move things along.
Overall, the small group project was a great way to research applicable technology, involving real-world issues that I may soon face, myself. I can apply this information to my curriculum, realizing that I need to ensure that my students and their parents have access to technology and if not, be creative and come up with ways that they can have access and understand how to use it and why it is a useful tool for all of us.
View our Prezi.