The Digital Divide refers to the "students' technological savvy has challenged schools to make greater use of computers and the Internet in their curricula. Unfortunately, not every student has the same access to it, and the inability to keep pace has created a digital divide". ( Mason, Dodds, pg. 25). Their are 5 categories that pertain to the Digital Divide.

1. Gender
2. Socio Economic
3. Race
4. Resource Equity
5. Teacher Bias







Let's look at the categories of The Digital Divide:



1.) Gender
GIRLS
Boys
1.Girls enjoy chatting on the Internet and using it as a social tool.


"Girls are crazy for email, chat, and school focused research"( Revenaugh).


2. Women don't pursue technological jobs.


"The percentage of women in technical jobs is holding steady at 28 %." (Revenaugh).


3. Women graduating with computer science degrees has dropped.


"The number of women graduating with bachelor's degrees in computer science has actually dropped from 40 % to just more than 27%."( Revenaugh).


3. In Teaching, it is known that their is a larger amount of female than male teachers and this affects technology in the classroom:


"Three out of four K-12 teachers are women, and according to the National Center for Education Statistics, only one in five teachers feels prepared to integrate technology into teaching". (Revenaugh).
1.Boys like to play games on the Internet and use the internet more for "informal" learning.


"Boys play a few more games and are marginally more likely to pursue informal learning, such as research and communication around hobbies on the Web." ( Revenaugh).


2. Men are drawn to computers as toys.


"Men are more likely to be drawn to technology for its own sake-the machine as a cool toy"(Revenaugh).


2. SOCIO ECONOMIC

The digital divide is definitely affected by socio economic status.


First of all, high poverty schools are a problem when it comes to Internet access. Valadez and Duran state that "The student to computer ratio is 5.5 students per instructional computer compared to 4.6 students to a computer in more affluent schools". ( pg. 33). This means that their a students that aren't getting computer access. In addition to computer access at schools, students are getting computer access at home. Again, Valadez and Duran explain, "Poor and racial minorities are lagging behind society's dominant groups in terms of computer ownership and Internet connectivity".(Pg. 35). Low income backgrounds find internet access to be restricted to computer labs where they are limited to instructional software that emphasizes low drill and practice routines. Higher socio economic schools have an incredible advatage over lower SES schools because the students are gaining the experience and practice necessary for using the internet as an educational resource!





Teachers Response:
To help the socio economic category of the digital divide, teachers should not assign homework on the computer for students they know don't have access to a computer or the Internet. Also, the students should be given extra internet access time to become familiar with the computer. Lastly, I think that students that don;t have computer access should be paired up with a student that does so they can learn faster and more efficiently about the computer and its resources.



3. Race

Race affects the digital divide. Research showsthat their is a difference in race when it comes to the digital divide.

Asian Americans : 71 %
Whites: 70%
Blacks: 56%
Latinos: 49%

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"Blacks and Hispanics remain to be underrepresented even after income and educational differences are factored into analysis. There is evidence that sections of society are making dramatic gains (low-income groups, ethnic minorities, and women)". ( Valadez, Duran, pg. 32).

"In Africa, one in every 200 persons has Internet access, compared with one in 30 globally, and one in three in advanced economies"(Cronin, pg. 48).

Teachers Response:
Teachers can try to bridge the digital divide through race by integrating their students into interracial groups in the classroom while working with computers and technology.


4. Resource Equity

Resource equity relates to internet access, resources and disabilities. Without adequate access to a computer or the Internet students are becoming less informed in general. "In August 2000, 58% of U.S. households had Internet access. The main resources of technology are found in libraries and schools. Libraries are free and communal. Schools are also a great resource for students and teachers, with computer labs and tech teachers. Students and people with disabilities have trouble using resources. "Many students with disabilities cannot use computers or participate in online activities because the equipment in their schools is not compatible with their learning or physical needs"(Mason, Dodds, pg. 26).



Teacher Response:
Teachers can try to make internet access more accessible for students. They can give students a list of available resource centers also. Teachers can try to make resources easier to use for students with disabilities, even talking with their administrators about new technology!




5. Teacher Bias

Teachers have a bias opinion about the digital divide. Some teachers push to integrate computers into education, while others are hesitant towards integrating them. According to , The National Center for Education Statistics, "only one in five teachers feel prepared to integrate technology into teaching". Because of this hesitant nature, computers are still not being fully integrated into the curriculum and thus we have a digital divide. Some teachers feel that the technology is too much work to learn and integrate into their lesson plans. Teachers don't want to spend so much time re doing their planned lessons, it is too time consuming.


Teacher Response:
Teachers should open their minds to new technology and just try it. So many advantages and new experiences and opportunities can arise from technology in the classroom!



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