The Digital Divide
Abstract: This paper focuses on the “The Digital Divide” and its impact on society. It explains the different forces contributing to the gap such as social/economic status, gender and race. It also explains why and how these factors effect this social problem, and the possible solutions to closing the gap.
Everyday there are new advances in technology taking place. These advances have enabled teachers to improve their educating techniques in and out of the classroom.
Unfortunately these advances are not available in all the classrooms throughout the United States; there are certain people who are being left behind. The gap that these technologies have created is known as “The Digital Divide”. The beneficiaries of these advancements are overlooking the disadvantages these technologies have created for others. Although technology has certainly advanced our education it has created a divide between social classes, between genders, and between races. Hopefully as people become more aware of this growing gap there will be preventative measures taken in the future to create a solution to this problem.
Education is improving for those who are fortunate enough to have the most up to date technologies in schools. These technologies expand the boundaries of the classroom, and offer many opportunities to both teachers and students alike. New Internet programs allow for both face to face interaction and virtual interaction as well. Studies have shown that there has been increased performance on standardized tests. Software that concerns reading and writing has helped to increase literacy rates. In order for these programs to really work teachers must now have proficient computer skills, or be taught how to use the different systems. If students learn about computers through school and have a support system at home they can be taught the proper ways to surf the web, and stay away from the dangers that always come with new innovations. Teachers don’t just want students to be able to navigate themselves through the Internet they want to show them that computers are an outlet for creativity. But, these activities can empower children to be active participants in the newly emerging digital world. These technologies will not help anyone gain if they do not have access to it (Honey et al, 2004).
In order for technology to be beneficial for a student’s education certain factors need to be met: 1. There must be some leadership around technology and clearly defined objectives for the students. 2. These technologies need to be embedded throughout the curriculum not just thrown in sporadically for the students to partake in. 3. There must be adequate technology resources in the schools including hardware and technical support, to keep everything running smoothly. 4. There must be recognition that real change and real results take time. 5. Evaluations must be conducted to let teachers and school leaders know if...