Can you hear me now? The digital divide is alive and well. It’s just more complicated.
Teachers are under attack and the digital divide is even worse than before.I have had lively discussions with educators , friends of mine , who tell me that I am dedicating time to a useless cause. They say the digital divide is solved , and talk about the new technologies as if everyone has access, knowledge, and information. They tell me that the reason funding is short is because there has been a change.
Not so many people have noticed the groups that are not up to the minute. The race to do digital inclusion at the highest level shows us that to many education is a business and it’s just too bad that many are way across the digital divide. Minorities, urban and distant populations are still playing catch up in many instances.
The level of knowledge about the continuing digital divide has been bolstered by several reports , recently
Instead of getting ready for the tech revolution, schools are scaling back
By Sarah Garland
“The promise of digital education is still out of reach for most American students
For schools that haven’t yet made technology an integral part of every student’s school day and every teacher’s lesson planning, the problem is often basic: Their Internet connection is too weak and their laptops (if they even have them) are too old to handle whole classrooms of students spending most or even part of their day online.”
“Fewer than 20 percent of teachers say their school’s Internet connection meets their teaching needs, according to the White House. And according to a survey of schools by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), half of schools and libraries that apply for federal subsidies have “lower speed Internet connectivity than the average American home — despite having, on average, 200 times as many users.”
In some cases, a lack of staff with the tech know-how and skepticism among educators, school board members and parents about whether technology can make enough of a difference to make the costs worthwhile stand in the way. But the main obstacle is money.”
Teachers need support and nurturing and reasonable access.
A digital divide is an economic inequality between groups, broadly construed, in terms of access to, use of, or knowledge of information and communication technologies. Wikipedia
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
― Malcolm X
“There is no more critical need in our society today than preparing teachers who know their subject matter well and who understand the social and emotional needs of students. After decades of classifying or transporting students, or changing the textbooks and the tests, we now understand that the most active ingredients in improving schools are the knowledge and skills of our teachers. Education is now arriving at the same conclusion as other fields, such as business, medicine, the media, and the military: Investing in professional development should be the number one priority.”
Education has become a business and teachers are often being left without proper access, information and knowledge of the digital media that is provided , when there is technology
That is the mentality that I started with , working with the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
I thought teachers made a difference, and many of us have worked hard to change the way in which education is delivered.
I knew from history about the differences in city and urban and minority education. I also knew from personal experience.
I went to a HBCU (Historic Black College and University )and I have spent years equalizing my education with NASA,NSF, ESRI, National Geographic, the Space Society and I learned a lot sitting around the advisory table at the George Lucas Educational Foundation. One should not have to do that.
Many teachers are faced with this problem, catching up.
WHAT ABOUT STUDENTS?
Without access to computers, the Internet and these new types of learning, advocates argue that U.S. students will be left behind. In a recent report, the Broadband Commission, an international coalition of government officials and nonprofit advocates, argued that, “in the 21st century, education cannot be separated from technology.”
“They’re going to be expected to thrive in a world where they’re being expected to work across language and across cultures,” said Richard Culatta, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. “Should we be worried? Yes, we absolutely should. There are a number of countries where they have put a priority on making sure this infrastructure is in place in a way that we haven’t.”
Some things are different. We have many more minorities of different kinds to think of , and we have a few states that are majority minority in population.
There are a few reports that others can use to learn how the digital divide, the information divide and the technical divide and access are still real problems in many places in the United States.
May 15, 2014
UCLA Report Finds Changing U.S. Demographics Transform School Segregation Landscape 60 Years After Brown v Board of Education
Segregation Increases after Desegregation Plans Terminated by Supreme Court
LOS ANGELES–Marking the 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v Board of Education, the UCLA’s Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP) assessed the nation’s progress in addressing school segregation in it’s new report released today, Brown at 60: Great Progress, a Long Retreat and an Uncertain Future, and found that the vast transformation of the nation’s school population since the civil rights era includes an almost 30% drop in white students and close to quintupling of Latino students.
Brown at 60 shows that the nation’s two largest regions, the South and West, now have a majority of what were called “minority” students. Whites are only the second largest group in the West. The South, always the home of most black students, now has more Latinos than blacks and is a profoundly tri-racial region.
The Brown decision in 1954 challenged the legitimacy of the entire “separate but equal” educational system of the South, and initiated strides toward racial and social equality in schools across the nation. Desegregation progress was very substantial for Southern blacks, in particular, says the report, and occurred from the mid-1960s to the late l980s.
The authors state that, contrary to many claims, the South has not gone back to the level of segregation before Brown. It has, however, lost all of the additional progress made after l967, but is still the least segregated region for black students.
Since the 1990s, the Supreme Court has fundamentally changed desegregation law, states the report, and many major desegregation plans have ended. CRP’s statistical analysis shows that segregation increased substantially after desegregation plans were terminated in many large districts including Charlotte, NC; Pinellas County, FL; and Henrico County, FL.