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.
Unknown User (res9)
In regards to deciphering the decision to mend the digital divide, the article states they are battling with “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.” As the article Education Technology: As Some Schools Plunge In, Poor Schools Are Left Behind states that many students are being left on the wrong side of the divide, wouldn’t it only be sensible to increase the computer technology these students have access to in order to diminish the digital divide? There is evidently a divide in the living conditions; however with technology we are only creating another divide. We could be doing the opposite.
Technology nowadays has become an essential supplement to students’ education. So essentially, wouldn’t the benefits outweigh the costs in the long run? By funding these underprivileged schools with access to the current technologies, we would be providing them with at least the opportunity to become successful. With these means, they may be able to get the most out of their education and in the long run improve their standard of living (their end). As we have been saying, technology is a tool, and in schools it is a learning tool; these tool needs to be accessible in order to produce the educated citizens we aspire to have in our country. If we are going to make technology this prominent in our education system, we have to make sure we are using it to our advantage, rather than heightening “digital divide.”