Q: What are “digital inequality” and the “participation gap”?
Digital inequality, also known as the digital divide, refers to the separation of technology access between low-income and high-income households and different social groups. While libraries and schools offer free use of computers and the internet, they are not avails available during certain times of day or weekends. Lack of free access to technology at home also leads to a lack of media and technology literacy known as the participation gap. If a student only has limited access then they cannot play learning games online or freely explore the internet without a libraries network restrictions on downloads.
The participation gap is being addressed by schools in a number of ways:
One-to-one computing – This is where students each have a personal computer for use during school.
One/two/three time activities – This is where students are split into groups that move through sets of activates. One or two of the activities use technology.
Electronic textbooks – Electronic textbooks are much more interactive.
Edutopia is a website that among many things helps educators implement technology into their lessons.
I liked the section called “How to Integrate Technology” and the article titled “Guided Homework Help Goes Online” which helped me discover the New York Public Library’s Dial-A-Teacher Whiteboard where students can connect with teachers in real time: The students logs on for free and connects with certified teacher where they can use an interactive whiteboard and upload homework assignments.