Technology has been a major part of education ever since the invention of the printing press. It has helped people to gain better access to raw data, quickly and more effectively produce that raw data, and also communicate with others concerning educational materials. During this age of technological revolution (1990s-today), the Internet has been at the forefront of education and thus the educational sociological scope has changed.
Although, more recently, there has been a technological boom in the educational sector, the cost of this has created an “Opportunity Gap” where certain students are not receiving the tools in which other students are receiving (Darling-Hammond, 2010). Some students are able to access very modern forms of technologies through their schools and at home, while others are not even able to attain basic internet even in their homes. Here I would like to discuss: the cost of implementing different technological solutions for various schools, helping students attain different information technologies where none is available, and different solutions for schools that have not implemented an adequate response to the problem.
Technology Solutions and the Various Costs Associated
There have been multiple solutions to the problem of providing adequate technology to schools, homes, and to students in general. All of these solutions have come with a price tag. That price tag is generally what separates the “haves” and the “have nots.”
In an article about the cost of providing iPads to students for a more technologically integrated classroom, Richard Vaughn stated, “The adoption of tablets in US schools has doubled in only a year” (Vaughn, 2013). Although some educators see the use of iPads as a fad, some have welcomed the integration with open arms. In a BBC video on integrating iPads in the classroom for elementary students, the students from a Netherlands school walked around the classroom learning from their devices while the teacher was seen as a coach or aid to the students rather than teaching lessons. Although they succeeded in providing students with the appropriate devices for the near virtual classroom, the funding is provided by the school to attain the device, leaving the cost to tax revenue and the government aid (Holligan, 2013).
The debate on whether schools should provide money for technological advances is inconsequential, but the ways in which schools should attain that financial aid is debatable. Schools are provided funding in several different ways: government aid (grants, loans, tax levies, Title 1 funding, etc.), school appropriated foundations, family contribution, and or educator funding. Each type of funding comes with its positives and negatives, but the funding that has worked in various settings have been the ones in which full funding has been given for a well-thought out proposal by either educators or their administration.
Educator funding is very small and almost inconsequential, but students would not have the resources they would need if it weren’t for teachers who have provided their own personal technologies in the classroom or on the Internet. Websites like