As we move forward in this course, I think it is worth our time to have a discussion concerning the various implications that may arise from the continuing merger of technology and education.
On a macro level, I feel that we as a society need to consistently reinforce to ourselves the notion that the internet is a privilege -- one that services the wants and needs of world's more affluent social classes. I bring this up only because it seems all too easy to sometimes ignore the detriments, and focus solely on the benefits that technology has brought and will bring to education and academic scholarship.
What needs to be talked about, however, is the "digital divide" -- that our use of technology is only creating a wider gap between the world's rich and the world's poor.
Interestingly, though, the argument seems to exist that should "we" be able to bridge the digital divide, we can also -- least to some extent -- raise the standard of living for those individuals currently in poverty:
In developing countries, with large segments of the population living at extreme levels of poverty, the first question that must be asked is whether it is reasonable to invest money in technology training, instead of using the same money to improve the living conditions of those in dire need. I believe that these interests are not contradictory. One way to reach a long-term solution for low socio-economic groups is to bridge the digital divide.
In addition, these students face the same challenges as those in developed nations. The emphasis in frontal presentation, or typical classroom teaching, with students listening to what the teacher tells, is not conducive to real learning. Learning theorists agree that we learn by doing. Schools should devote much more of students' time to project activities related to real life and to the application of curriculum contents. Each student must build his or her own models of knowledge. Technology facilitates that.
To me at least, we currently appear to be at a crossroads: technology will incontrovertibly advance with respect to education and otherwise; we as a society just need to decide whether or not we should distribute the "wealth" across the economic and social spectrum.