Although much of the focus of the digital divide is between developed and developing countries, it is evident that a digital divide exists within our own education system. Schools are increasingly using computers however, those students without access to technology and the internet outside of school are still disadvantaged.
Barrett (2014) points out in her report (New test evaluates student digital literacy) that by 2016 all NAPLAN testing will be conducted on line. How does this benefit students? How will students with limited technological experience cope when they are already under pressure to perform? How much time will teachers be expected to spend teaching basic computer use to those students in order for them to complete such testing?
While it may seem advantageous to provide laptops for student use, the advantage, or equality, is removed immediately a student leaves the school wi-fi network if they do not have internet access at home. Similarly, for students in remote locations, their only option may be to travel away to school.
While there are many groups helping to bridge the digital divide between developed and developing nations, there also needs to be a focus on reducing the digital divide in education in Australia. In today’s digital world, it is increasingly important that all students have an equal opportunity to participate.
Weekly Task: Infographic on digital divide (see image top of post).
Barrett, R. (2014, March 14). Computer literacy tested in schools amid concerns of digital divide. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-13/students-skills-tested-amid-digital-divide-concerns/5319156
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