Tuesday, March 03, 2009

More on Access and Connectivity

Reader Ann helping us keep our eye on the ball:

What about the kids who have to sell all they own to buy food? Who can't wander the neighborhood or hike to the library because they work all day or take care of relatives? Some kids have the motivation, but their first allegiance is to the immediate needs of their families. Spending all day at the library or internet cafe is a luxury. The digital divide goes into the root of what we believe about the responsibilities of our society. It isn't just about giving everyone laptops (although I would take that, too!) but looking at quality of life issues. Maslow's hierarchy...we want students to be thoughtful and innovative, lets make sure they have sufficient health care and real living wages...


  1. Agreed. Schools are often the only place that they can get a meal, have someone who cares about them and is free from violence.

    That is a huge issue and the issue that makes the teaching profession so complicated. Those basic needs must be met for learning to take place.

  2. There will always be students who do not have access. I have just started implementing technology in my class in an intensive way. Just 3rd graders, but amazing results. I have students coming to school 30 minutes early to get started. I have kids skipping recess to keep working. I'm certainly not paperless, but we are evolving. I do have students who do extra work at home, but everyone in class has the opportunity to succeed. I won't stop just because a few don't have access or don't buy in. So modify your assignments, and of course allow handwritten work.

  3. Certainly don't stop-using web 2.0 actually gives our students with chaotic lives more flexibility if they can't be at school typical school hours. I just don't buy the "if they really want it they will find it" mentality because I know plenty of students that bust their butt and deal with so much and still are not making ends meet. There will always be kids with access problems, but we can't forget or exclude them-we just need to be more creative and aggressive in our work. I would love to be able to give every one of my students a laptop and have funds to replace and repair-whatever they need to keep them in the loop.


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