A Gap in Education Technology, the Classroom, & Home Life.
Technology is constantly changing and growing and it is ever-present in todays’ society. It has become an important resource for people and jobs. Technology in the classroom has become a fast growing practice in many schools and has shown many positive impacts on new ways of thinking, learning, and connecting to the real world. Using computers, tablets, apps, cameras, podcasts, etc., teachers can create meaningful learning experiences for students that is a reflection of the changing world around them. However, in order for these new waves of education technology to take place state-wide, or even nation-wide, we would first need to address the inequities in the current schooling system with lack of resources for students, parents, and teachers.
Technological resources are usually more readily available to students that are at schools that are funded more and have more access, which are typically schools in upper and middle-class neighborhoods that are predominantly white. The majority of low income schools are dominated by black and brown students. These schools are different in the amount of access to educational resources and can create a gap in technological learning in a world that is becoming dominated by technology.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018), 67% of African Americans and Hispanics in rural areas only had no access to the internet or dial-up compared to their white counterparts who was only at 13%. Internet access is expensive and varies in its prices. There are many remote or rural areas that high-speed internet does not reach, therefore dial-up is the only option or going to a free public space. This can also pose a problem for low income families as not everyone has access to transportation on a consistent bases or able to find a convenient time that works for their current situation. The fact that schools resources are taken from low income schools or that middle/upper-class schools get constant access to new resources is a crime in itself. The math behind that is al wrong, and is inexplicable and has no true merit. True education is for all. In the video below Kandice Sumner talks about the education system as a whole and its direct role in keeping inequality alive; she says, “The quality of your education is directly proportionate to your access to college, to your access to jobs, your access to the future”.
How America’s public schools keep kids in poverty | Kandice Sumner — YouTube
Furthermore, these low SES families do not have the knowledge educational background with technological tools as others, therefore it can create a gap in the classroom if a teacher does not take into consideration. Parents play a huge role in the learning of their kids, and as teachers it is our responsibility to give them the support they need to be able to assist at home in a way that is successful for both the student parent. Parents with minimal access to the latest technology, apps, trends, sites, etc., can get overwhelmed, confused, and feel alone in their parenting journeys with the school system and technology advances. Giving tips, resources, ideas, and being an advocate the entire way can help tremendously.
4 Characteristics Of Critical Digital Pedagogy (teachthought.com)
Also, when teachers are showing videos and different resources, often times, different races, genders, and cultures get left out and never represented. In the article of the the four characteristics of critical digital pedagogy, number 2 “Must remain open to diverse, international voices, and thus requires invention to reimagine the ways that communication and collaboration happen across cultural and political boundaries” falls in line with this. Students spend a good majority of their time in school and they deserve to feel safe, loved, supported, respected, nourished, and celebrated for who they are and where they come from. It is vital that classrooms are built in a diverse way that accounts for not only the variety of students that are in the classroom, but ones that never make into the classroom as well. I believe a classroom should be a reflection of the beauty of the outside real world that allows them to connect, reflect, bring awareness, learn and grow from.
Teachers have a direct responsibility to consistently be unlearning old ways of thinking and teaching, and learning new ways to fight for equality and advocating for education reform.