The inclusion of social media data in the algorithms that search engines now use to help people find relevant information online could create a “new digital divide,” educator and consultant Angela Maiers believes—“those with a powerful network and those without.”
She also proposed a “new rule” that sums up the importance of managing one’s online profile carefully: “You are what you share.”
In a wide-ranging Twitter chat with eSchool News readers Oct. 19, Maiers discussed the implications of the decision by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and other internet gatekeepers to build social media data into their web-search formulas.…Read More
When the personal computer revolution began decades ago, Latinos and blacks were much less likely to use one of the marvelous new machines. Then, when the Internet began to change life as we know it, these groups had less access to the Web and slower online connections placing them on the wrong side of the “digital divide.”
Today, as mobile technology puts computers in our pockets, Latinos and blacks are more likely than the general population to access the Web by cellular phones, and they use their phones more often to do more things.
But now some see a new “digital divide” emerging with Latinos and blacks being challenged by more, not less, access to technology. It’s tough to fill out a job application on a cell phone, for example. Researchers have noticed signs of segregation online that perpetuate divisions in the physical world. And blacks and
Latinos may be using their increased Web access more for entertainment than empowerment.…Read More
The amazing progress of technology used in modern teaching resources herald huge advances in learning opportunities. But are the costs of the equipment that play the new educational games limiting the scope to wealthy schools and families? Could children from economically disadvantaged families and countries get left behind?
Educational gaming software as we know it may soon become a stronghold of select major players. Developments are well underway with technology companies who view the educational market with keen interest. Understandably, they are primarily focused on the commercial opportunity that links the software to their branded products. But the arrival of these big companies could stem the flow of those great ideas that emerged from teachers and educationalists who previously developed the games for educational use.
In the distant past, a key feature of “slate and chalk” learning was its very low cost. Education using this fundamental communication technique focused on the ability of the teacher and the commitment of the child. It was a level playing field for all.…Read More
Two researchers at Duke University have published a draft study that raises questions about the academic value of giving students home computers and broadband internet access. Their study has led to a flurry of media coverage, with some reports trumpeting the study’s findings as evidence that efforts to close the digital divide are counterproductive. But is that what their research really says?
The study examined the reading and math test scores of more than 500,000 North Carolina public school students in grades five through eight from 2000-05. It sought to determine if differential access to computer technology at home compounds the educational disparities among students from various socio-economic backgrounds, and whether government provision of computers to middle school students would reduce those disparities.…Read More
The arrival and rapid dissemination of digital technology in the last decades of the 20th century fundamentally changed our students. Today’s students represent the first generation to grow up with this new technology. These adolescents have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, video games, digital music players, video cameras, text messaging, and cell phones.
Today’s students use technology such as Instant Messenger, Facebook, Flickr, and Skype to be constantly connected to friends, family, information and entertainment. As a result, 21st century students think and process information differently. While educators may see students every day, they do not necessarily understand their students’ habits, expectations, or learning preferences–this has resulted in a technology cultural divide.
Roughly 40 percent of Americans do not have high-speed internet access at home, according to new Commerce Department figures that reinforce what some educators believe is causing some students to fall behind.
“There’s lots of talk about digital literacy. That’s something that should be built into the curriculum,” said Charles Benton, chairman and CEO of the Benton Foundation.
“The three R’s alone are not sufficient for today’s needs. We’ve got to be using today’s tools. It’s an old point, but we’ve got to keep beating that drum until we get the funding.”…Read More