Is there the possibility of the new technologies forcing even greater divisions between socio-economic classes in the skills and readiness of students in the 21st century?
A NYC public high school teacher today informed me that she utilizes digital media on a very one-off basis because of multiple issues:
Outside the classroom for homework assignments:
There is no guarantee that the students will have computers at home
Inside the classroom:
The teachers are told that if they want to do an assignment on the computer they should be prepared with a paper classwork back up (forcing the teachers to do twice as much preparation for one class). The reason for this is that some of the laptops might not work, and some might not connect to the internet. Also there is a security and distribution procedure they must follow to make sure none of the laptops are stolen. In addition, as a science teacher she is given no access to the computer lab as that is reserved only for very specific tech heavy courses.
As technologies become cheaper and teaching courses through computers becomes the norm it is possible that this will change. However, many schools are already able to integrate these kinds of internet research and education into their schools, simply leaving those with less money and resources behind.
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