Friday, November 9, 2007

In Our Own Back Yard

As part of my own topic on the digital divide, and in reaction to colleagues blogs over the last few days, I've made a few points about people who are lacking the proper access and education regarding technology. I've specifically talked about Africa, the elderly and school aged children in our own back yards. Then today, as I was reading through some of my colleagues' blogs, I realised Amanda Toler had written about just those things here:

Amanda makes a great point that some access is better than none - and that even if computers made available at schools are old and outdated, at least basic skills can be taught.

But there's one thing that Amanda said that really got me thinking: "you don't need PowerPoint to teach." This made me realise that the Senior Digital Divide is really influencing the younger generation's access to technology - a correlation I did not make in an earlier post. I believe this because until Amanda mentioned it, I had not even thought about PowerPoint in K-12 classes simply because it wasn't used in my own education until college. Therefore, I think many people are probably underestimating the actual needs of schools - which means funding is undoubtedly underestimated as well.

I will try not to get off on a rant, but I find it terribly sad that a country regarded as one of the wealthiest and most powerful by the rest of the world cannot establish a decent education system. The US is one of the only countries around the world that has such exorbitant costs for higher education - and drastically underfunded K-12 schools. What is wrong when we can fund all kinds of initiatives, but cannot invest in the education of our children - and therefore essentially the future of our country? And why isn't the media talking about it?

1 comment:

Andria said...

Hi Jessica,
Totally agree.
Why isn't the media writing about it?
Good question.
Perhaps it's this: They DID write about it, alot, earlier, and in some places folks responded with money and hardware. But that doesn't fix all the problems.
The best solutions are people with the time and talent to teach others. Perhaps organizations like Teach for America (very trendy these days) can make a difference, or retired, wired volunteers. Melinda Gates is certainly trying too.
What's clear: The answers aren't easy.