Digital Divide

Gender

  • Digital divide is said to derive from computer anxiety.
  • Females tend to be more anxious than males, especially when it comes to computer use.
  • Many males and boys in particular use computers as toys. For example computer games. This has reduced thier computer anxiety levels over the years.
  • Currently there are more computer games that are of interest to boys.

Teacher Recommendations for Gender Issues Regarding the Digital Divide:
  • Try and find educational websites that appeal to both boys and girls.
  • Encourage collaboration between boys and girls when using technology in the classroom.
  • Use gender neutral colors when creating a lesson or tool with technology that will later be used in the classroom.
  • Provide the same amount of technology instruction and use for both boys and girls in the classroom.



Socio Economic

  • The digital divide has a huge effect on people of lower socio economic status.
  • Thier lack of technology use can prevent them from getting better paying jobs which ultimately keeps them on this same level of socio economic status.
  • This graphic organizer I created shows this vicious circle the digital divide has created for people of low socio economic status.

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Race

  • Hispanic-Americans are 1/2 as likely to own a computer than Caucasian-Americans and they are 1/4 as likely to have the internet.

This table shows the percentage of White, African and Asian American households that have internet as of the year 2002.
White Americans
46.1%
African Americans
23.5%
Asian Americans
56.8%

Resource Equity

  • How fair is the distribution of resources in the school system?
  • In general school districts with more money have more resources.
  • In some states in the US however schools of lower socio economic status recieve more funding.
  • For example in Maryland, Title I or Free and Reduced Meal schools recieve the most funding.
  • These Title I School Students may have access to technology resources at school but this certainly does not mean they have the same amount of access in the home.

Teacher Bias

  • Often times teachers who lack experience with technology tend to stay away from technology use in thier classroom.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum teachers who enjoy using technology and have had many positive experience with it tend to overuse technology in the classroom.
  • Teachers should all recieve the same amount of technology use training so thier students all have equal opportunities using technology compared to one another.
  • By teachers recieving the same training in technology use thier biases would not be seen in the classroom as often.


During the 2008 Election many Americans wondered who uses technology more, McCain or Obama? Check out this podcast that discusses the digital divide between the two candidates.