Digital Divide Essay

Submitted By cpentrack
Words: 1096
Pages: 5

The integration of technology in the classroom has often been hindered by a figurative gap known as the Digital Divide. The divide separates those who have the access to available technology and those who do not. The lack of access to 21st century technology in the school system typically lies in urban areas where resources are less accessible, due to lack of funding or average household income being significantly lower than that of the median. Cultivating a “bridge” is the first step to resolving this epidemic we face. As parents, educators, and students the responsibility for laying the foundation necessary for bridging the gap lies in our hands. Technology in the classroom is not a new concept. There have been arguments in the last few decades of whether or not it is a necessary tool for education. Many arguments state that technology is the downfall of our children’s youth. However, technology has proven itself time and time again for the bettering of society. Take the story of Freddie, a 21 year old with spinal bifida with no arms or legs, with the use of talking computers he is able to communicate efficiently and lead an almost normal life. Technology has powers beyond social media and gaming, it is a portal to a new take on learning. Students require stimulating learning environments in order to absorb the information. With the use of technology students are able to learn in an environment that is applicable inside the classroom and out. Technology based learning has already been adapted in many schools locally. For example, several schools in the Henry County Public School System have adapted the “BYOT” (Bring Your Own Technology) policy (http://schoolwires.henry.k12.ga.us/Page/40926). Allowing students to bring personal devices to assist in technology based learning. The policy provides a connection between the classroom and home through use of personal electronic devices. The access to technology varies from school to school within the district. Technologies in the classroom beyond computers are being introduced slowly but steadily. The school system has provided a long list of interactive workshops for teachers to gain the knowledge and skill to increase productivity of the technology used in the classroom. The resources discussed in the workshops include: Flip Camera (video recording), Promethean Board (An interactive whiteboard), Infinite Campus ( a connection between schools, parents, and the community for accessibility) (http://schoolwires.henry.k12.ga.us/cms/lib08/GA01000549/Centricity/Domain/60/Training%20Menu%20Catalog.pdf ). Each school in the district has the access to at least one Promethean Board, wireless laptops for student use, and IPads to provide an alternative to usage of paper in the classroom including textbooks. The bridge between the haves and have nots is slowly becoming a reality as the possibilities for the technology in the classroom become unveiled. How can technology be brought in the classroom when lack of funding is often obsolete? That is a question many educators face when beginning the transition between traditional instructing to one of current technology friendliness. “There are 26 federal grant making agencies and more than 900 federal programs accessible through Grants.gov”. (http://technology-grants.com/page/k-12-education). Grants allow for additional financial assistance in addition to what is allotted yearly through budget. Although Grants are not guaranteed they provide an opportunity. Many schools have taken advantage of the grants that are available as a way to inclement technology into their classrooms. Box tops for education® is another successful program utilized by local schools. Box tops from participating products are collected and submitted via a coordinator for that particular school. Box tops collected are worth ten cents apiece and are used towards purchase of needed materials. This is an outside program based solely on participation of the…