How technological and instructional choices marginalize students
Read one of the Chapters from the Normore & Lahera (2019) text along with the paired article in the table below.
Create a 500-word reflection connecting what you have learned about digital inequities in this course with the global issues addressed in the articles. Below are questions for your consideration as you reflect upon your learning.
How do the technological and instructional choices we make as educators and educational leaders potentially marginalize or disadvantage students and families? What divides do we create or reinforce?
Inequality in access to the Internet and ICT is known as the digital divide and affects 52 % of women and 42 % of men worldwide. This gap becomes even wider when we talk about regions: according to data taken from the Internet portal World Stats as of May 2020, in Africa, only 39.3 % of its inhabitants had Internet access, compared to 87.2 % of Europeans and 94.6 % of Americans.
The data shows the technological gap that separates some countries from others, despite the fact that 3G and 4G networks, while awaiting the massive expansion of 5G, are already reaching almost every corner of the planet. Here, it is important to distinguish between access to the Internet and digital literacy, that is, the learning process that enables a person to acquire the skills to understand and benefit from the educational, economic, and social potential of the new technologies.
The digital divide was initially attributed to underdevelopment and was perceived as something temporary that would disappear with the popularisation of technology. Instead, the divide persists today despite the mass marketing of electronic devices with Internet access. The causes can range from the high price of the above-mentioned devices to the lack of knowledge about their use or the lack of infrastructure for their access. In this regard, we review the types of the digital divide:
A few years ago, ITU established the Digital Access Index (DAI), which measures the overall ability of a country’s citizens to access and use ICT. This index takes into account various variables grouped around five categories, which are as follows: quality, infrastructure, knowledge, accessibility and use.