Monday, June 30, 2008

A teacher's place in the digital divide

Warschauer, M. (2007). A teacher's place in the digital divide. In L. Somlin, K. Lawless, & N. C. Burbules (eds.) Information and communication technologies: Considerations of current practice for teachers and teacher educators. The 106th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part 2. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Types of digital difference
  • School access: unequal availability of digital technology in schools (between high- & low-SES; new tech benefits high performance students while exlcuding at-risk students)
  • Home access: high- & low-SES families
  • School use: student income and race correlate strongly with the type of use students make of computers in schools
  • Gender gap: boys - more computer games; girls - more communicate & network
  • Generation gap: digital natives vs digital immigrants
21st century skills
  • Digital-age literacy
    • Basic, scientific, economic, and technological literacies
    • Visual and information literacies
    • Multicultural literacy and global awareness
  • Inventive thinking
    • Adaptability, managing complexity, and self-direction
    • Curiosity, creativity, and risk taking
    • Higher order thinking and sound reasoning
  • Effective communication
    • Teaming, collaboration, and interpersonal skills
    • Personal, social, and civic responsibility
    • Interactive communication
  • High productivity
    • Prioritizing, planning, and managing for results
    • Effective use of real-word tools
    • Ability to produce relevant, high-quality products
Three challenges related to technology use in schools
  • Workability: coordinating technology use (scheduling rooms, arranging and maintaining software, hardware, and network connections). Low-SES schools have higher turnover rates;
  • Complexity: standardized testing increased complexity in integrating technology into instruction;
  • Performativity: technological performance for its own sake rather than in connection with meaningful learning goals
  • To complexity and workability: providing students and teachers more consistent and reliable access to computers and the Internet (through one-to-one programs or leveraging other tech resources in schools and communities)
  • To performativity: instructional approaches that focus not only on mastery of tech applications, but also on broad learning goals related to academic content (e.g., developing both tech skills & academic expertise around topics related to students' life experiences)

The benefits of the laptop classroom
  • teaching and learning of 21st-century learning skills (becoz constant access)
  • greater student engagement (becoz the use of multimedia)
  • increase in the quantity and quality of student writing (ease, feedback, professionalism)
  • deeper learning (project-based work)

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