In the first grade, my classmates and I had a daily assignment that we were required to complete on the computer. It was a simple reading comprehensions quiz. We would read a short book, then log into our profile on this certain program on the computer, and then we would take a test. This sounds extremely simple, but the fact that a group of twenty, seven year-olds could log into a computer every day and take a quiz shows the fluency in technology at an early age.
Growing up in the school that I went to kept me from appreciating the digital divide that is ever present in the world. Michael Dell’s four kids attended my school and you could find at least three Dell computers in every classroom on campus. Not only that, but every student was required to own a laptop once you reached the ninth grade. So, it comes to my surprise when I learn of students who do not have access to a computer. When I heard the story about Johnston high school, I had a hard time appreciating the severity of it. Johnston high school was shut down June 2008 to be reopened under a new name and under new supervision. During the time of the shut down, the school was investigated. In their gymnasium, there were many boxes found, all full of computers. These students were never given the chance to become technologically fluent because they couldn’t even find a computer to use. In a world of increasing technologies, it is vital for students to have access to computers. Many students from Johnston high will be put at an immediate disadvantage because of their lack of knowledge with technology.
When it comes to educating people with technology and closing the digital divide, there will have to be a lot of patience involved. This process does not happen over night, and some people may not even be willing to try. We can’t expect people to fall in love with the idea of technology over night when they have never seen anything like it. When students are not given the opportunity to learn technology they become as helpless as the people who choose to ignore the advancements. We take away prospective jobs that they don’t even know are available. When I heard about the problems of Johnston high school, I was glad something was being done to attempt change. What I could not understand was how the teachers and administrators did not understand the way they were hurting the students by removing their chances at learning. It may not always work, but we have to try.
This post was written by a student, and has been left unedited by the admin.