Both readings this week focused on connectivity and monitoring problems with technology in low income households. Even though the statistics show that most low income families have connectivity, the quality of service is not very high. They struggle with interruption problems or just being limited to mobile access because they can’t afford the luxury level expenses for regular internet services. As educators, if we make internet at home essential for our students’ homework, we could be contributing to the achievement gap in our schools. There is no way of making sure that all our students have full and uninterrupted access to internet or digital devices at home beforehand. So how do we make sure that we are being fare while incorporating technology into our curriculum? What can we do to not contribute to the digital divide while making the best use of educational technology?
The hard part is even if we make a conscious effort and ask our students, if they lack connectivity at home, they might be too shy or embarrass to admit it. The best bet would be to ask them to anonymously admit whether they have connectivity and devices to access at home through a paper survey. With this, we have to probably come up with two different curriculums before the quarter starts, one with technology used on and off school and the other limiting technology usage while in school. Depending on our student responses we can adopt the appropriate curriculum without creating more obstacles to low income students.
The point that was made in the article about uneducated parents not monitoring student action online was very demoralizing. The process has to start somewhere to help students in low income families to use their resources wisely and not get distracted while using technology. I think that responsibility also falls on educators to help kids understand the right and wrong in digital access and train them to help their parents in the process as well. I really like the concept of “families as digital learning teams” where everyone helps each other to become digitally literate at home.