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Framing the Issue of the Digital Divide in Education

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Latino students and the digital divide (Part 1 of 2)

Latino Students and the digital divide:  home access

Schools throughout the U.S. are beefing up infrastructure and adding computers/tablets in schools.   Of course, not all of this integration and infrastructure upgrades is happening equitably, but the general trend of more tech and more teaching with tech is more than notable.   With respect to Latino students, it is obviously impossible to make statements to apply to everyone in such a diverse group.  With that said, though, some important trends are emerging.   With respect to the digital divide, Latinos as a group in the U.S. are gaining access to internet at home through cell phones while actual computer ownership is on the decline.  This has serious implications for success in schools, especially when large numbers of teachers move to digital platforms and assign digital homework.   Educators are becoming more aware of students who don't have home access, but at the same time many fail to recognize the challenges that students face when trying to complete various types of homework on a cellphone (as they might not have a computer at home).   This type of "underconnectedness" makes some types of flipped classrooms and digital assignments that require larger screens and/or collaboration very problematic.   One creative approach can be found in the "Modifying the Flipped Classroom"   Educator Jennifer Gonzalez discusses the benefits of flipped lessons but how these benefits might be used in a classroom of students who have no internet access or cell only access at home.  With respect to Latino students, this is especially significant as broadband connection rates at home are significantly lower than other groups.
Teachers (myself included) can make assumptions about connectivity and the ability to complete electronic assignments at home.  Testing assumptions and modifying teaching strategies, in the end, is best practice and can work to benefit all students.

1 comment:

  1. nice informantion