Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Crossing the Divide" prompt #4

The students displayed in the documentary were very much influenced by their environment in determining their interests in the technology field. For example, Sidra was exposed to advance technology her entire life because of her father's occupation. Although, the largest factor that plays into the lives of the students is their education. I am excited that schools are moving into the technology generation, but am also torn at the degree some school are moving away from traditional schooling.

I believe Jane Healy, an educational psychologist, put it best when saying, “We want kids to be well rounded, reflective students.” Technology cannot replace teachers and online activity cannot and should not replace physical and social connection with others. I was repulsed that schools are removing sports and libraries and only focusing on computers and online activities. This reflects the opposite side of the digital divide, a division from normal, everyday activities in order to only focus on new technology. I do not want to be misunderstood, I am a firm believer that technology is improving our lives and education in ways that were not even thought of 10 years ago, but it cannot be the only source of education.

On the other hand, it was heartbreaking to hear Luisa’s story about her struggles to purchase a computer and do well in school because of all the pressures placed upon her due to where she lived and her economic status. In an ideal world, everyone would have the same opportunity to educational materials, but this difference in resources available places more opportunity in the hands of those to whom it is available. I do not think Luisa’s school can produce the same number or quality of students who are ready for the advanced, new world of technology and in turn will generate less students who have jobs in this field. Students, and even adults, are either favored or turned down due to their technology skills which is something most students have no control over.

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