Participation and the Digital Divide

Auditory summation: Week 4, Participation and the Digital Divide

Follow the link to the Voki presentation focusing on the Week 4 topic ‘Participation and the Digital Divide.’

http://www.voki.com/presenter/playPresentation.php?id=2ebd26f31dfcd207020558e785f075ea

Following is the script to my Voki.

The phrase “digital divide” refers to the gap that exists between those who have an easy access to technologies and information tools, to those who have limited or no access. The reason for such a divide may include factors such as the socio‐economic area, geography, level of education within the family, or it may be through physical disabilities (Cullen, 2001). As a teacher in the 21st Century it is important to acknowledge these factors exist and work together as a school community to bridge the digital divide. In doing so, it will allow every student with the opportunity to participate fully within the classroom through the use of technology.

What can we, as digital educators, do to bridge the divide?

As educators we can get involved within the school community and get to know our students, this will help in knowing whether or not students and their families have access to technologies such as the internet. A study conducted by Shannon (2014) incorporated the use of iPad’s within Year One classrooms; it showed that through the use of funding it is possible to provide these technologies to every student. However, in some low socio-economic areas this kind of funding for every student may be a difficult task and teachers will have to utilize other resources such as allocating extra sessions within a computer lab to ensure maximum student participation.

See HERE what Australian companies are doing in order to aide families and help in bridging the digital divide.

Digital technology and oral language

When carefully planned and researched the use of technology can become an exciting tool that enhances learning opportunities and outcomes for students. Within the same study conducted by Shannon, it was clear that through the use of the iPad students were drawn into a social world where they communicated positively with one another. The study also showed that through the use of authentic and appropriate apps, the students began to question more and develop comprehension and oral language skills. Shannon (2014) stated “It’s not what happens on the iPad, it’s what happens because of the iPad”.

References 

Cullen, R. (2001). Addressing the digital divide. Online Information Review, Vol. 25 Issue: 5, pp.311-320, doi: 10.1108/14684520110410517

Nacu, D. (n.d). [Cover Image]. Retrieved from https://www.google.com.au/search?q=digital+divide&rlz=1C1FERN_enAU613AU613&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi40ICSzbnTAhXEFZQKHet6ATYQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=638#imgrc=8_xx4GCmJqLFGM:

Shannon, J. (2014). Building oral language through the iPad project: The journey. Practically Primary, 19(2), 37-40.

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