Income Disparity And The Digital Divide

SHAILA on March 10, 2013

Students with iPads

Schools across the nation are using tablets, phones and laptops, but it turns out not all students or their teachers have equal access to technology says a report by Kristen Purcell from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project
 
21% of teachers in higher income group (HIG) schools say resource shortages make it difficult for them to effectively go digital while more than half (56%) of teachers in lower income group (LIG)schools feel the heat. 
 
Such discrepancy is found among students too, 52% of teachers in the HIG schools say their students access digital resources at home. Now compare this figure with just 3% of the teachers who report thus in LIG schools. What about the 97% who have no access to digital resources? 
 
Efforts are underway to bridge this digital divide. One of the most impressive efforts was by the Engage, Empower, Explore Project, also known as E3. Nearly 6,500 tablet computers were put in the hands of teachers and students in five LIG middle schools in Clark County. Speaking about this superintendent Dwight Jones said, “By putting an iPad in the hands of our young people, we bring the world to their fingertips every day.”
 
The internet is a source of enormous material for research 99% of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers vouch for it. E3’s initiative tries to deliver these very benefits to the disadvantaged students. Clearly, there is ways to go towards bridging the digital divide, but this is as good a start as any.
 
Shaila is a blogger at Mobicip - the #1 parental control service for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, iPad mini, Android-based tablets and smartphones, Kindle Fire, and Windows laptops. Shaila loves to write about mobile learning and the impact of technology and the internet on families.

Photo credit: flickingerbrad / Foter.com / CC BY