I found this video on Youtube and was suddenly caught off guard by something someone had left as a comment about the video. Basically, the ideas in this video would be ideal IF computers were AFFORDABLE for everybody.
The word AFFORDABLE has yet to come up in class yet. Technology has it’s price, and for some, that may be the difference between buying a computer and a 3-ring binder. Think about it. How does the student, even in today’s current school system feel when he or she is the only student who has to hand in a hand written paper because there is not computer at home. This extends past the “my dog ate my homework.” This may be more like “my parents can’t afford a computer.” The current studies out there that I was able to look at seemed to average around about 80% of of households having a computer present. Owning a computer is one thing, but then there is affording the internet is another. This is a monthly charge. Below, NTIA did a study on the amount of households with computers and internet connections. Even up to 2009, just under 80% of households had computers.
Now, around the same time that NTIA came out with that study, the following graph from the National Technology Scan came out in 2008. It involved nothing with affording computers, but more if people could use computers.
There seems to be a common theme of 20%-30% of people only a couple of years ago that have no real experience with computers or own a computer. These people do not even know how to use Google, maybe one of the simplest search engines there is.
Now, take one of their children and put them into a classroom surrounded by kids for whom, using a computer is as second nature as breathing. How does this student feel? How do you as a teacher deal with a student who is still learning to open up Word while the rest of the class is blogging? This may seem like an stretch that a student will be as computer illiterate by the time we are teaching, but it is still possible. It is still happening.
There are, according to the evidence above, about 30% of students who may not have a computer at home, and if they do, they may not have internet. How will that impact the classroom?
Technology has amazing potential in the classroom but the word that should be going along with technology is whether or not it can be affordable for all. “No Child Left Behind,” without trying to be political, destroyed the way we measure intelligence and teach, but can YOU as a future teacher handle the reality of leaving the student who cannot afford technology to excel in learning?
Take a moment and think about it.