Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Journal #4

"Mind The Gap" by Cindy Long

As technology becomes an increasing component of education, attention needs to be paid to the differences in technological resources in varying neighborhoods. As computers become the place where learning occurs in the classroom, it is important to remember that not all students have equal access to them. These are the premises for Long’s article “Mind the Gap”, where she discusses some of the differences in student’s availability of technological resources and how that affects their education. The article profiles a number of students as they are introduced to technology or are able to increase their use of tech resources and how that affects their learning ability. According to the article there are still 30 million households that do not have computers and this number correlates to lower-income families. The article also discusses the major jumps in college bound students when technological resources are introduced into their education. In one of the profiles, district superintendent Dennis Bruno noted: “ When I first got here seven years ago, only 14% of them (students) were going to college after high school. Now 78% of graduating seniors go on to colleges and universities. The only difference is technology”. The article also discusses the prevalence of non-profit organizations that focus on adding technological resources to communities who cannot afford themselves as a way to even the gap between wealthy and poor students.
1. Why does technology account for such a large jump in college bound students?
-An increase from 14 to 78% is quite a change in college attendance for a school district. Although I have no concrete evidence to support this, it is my belief that the access to technology allows students to feel more prepared for college than they might otherwise feel. They may also do better in high school by using all of the resources that technology provides (internet, study groups, etc), which in turn may inspire students who weren’t performing as well before to suddenly find an interest in school including higher education.
2. How do you convince the government that access to technology should be a priority and afford some funding in the school districts?
-Get rid of the conservative regimes in power! Ok, and also continue to follow students who are given new access to technology as they continue their education. There needs to be more evidence that there does actually exist a technological gap between students and that it affects them throughout their lives.