RS1: America

The Digital Divide

There is no doubt that technology has been advancing at exponential rates within the last two decades. In fact, it has become the social norm to have access to virtually any information imaginable in the palm of your hand. Yet, even though it may seem as easy as filling out a connect the dots worksheet in preschool, bridging this gap in technology accessibility has proven to be more of a challenge than most would think. Schools in modern times are vastly pushing toward implementing technology in the curriculum. However, what happens when schools in lower-income neighborhoods simply cannot afford to keep up? As Maria Mesires references in her journal article “The Digital Divide”, “The National Center of Educational statistics found that in schools with a higher concentration of families in poverty, 39 percent had computers with Internet access” (3). Though there are some attempts to correct the imbalance presented such as E-Rate, a School and Libraries Universal Service Program, teachers believed that “they are not educated enough to effectively use computers and programs in their class rooms” (5). Now it was not a matter of not having the resources to, but possessing the proper skill set to effectively implement technology in the classroom. Surely teachers could learn how to do such things, but at what cost. Mesires states, “We live in a technology-driven world. So, how do we incorporate this necessary tool in the modern teacher’s arsenal without sacrificing other valuable components” (10)?    Thinking about the Digital Divide in this way helps put into perspective some of the negatives that could result from always trying to stay up to date on the newest tech. Not all school districts can keep up with the cost of these advancements and as a result would potentially be better off focusing on getting the best “person-to-person” education possible. In the end quality over quantity is what matters as Mesires writes, “A-well written curriculum and a dedicated teacher are arguably just as good an investment as a computer program” (10).

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