Digital Divide in Education

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Bridging the Digital Divide
“Mending the Breach: Overcoming the Digital Divide” by Andy Carvin and “Overcoming Technology Barriers: How to Innovate Without Extra Money or Support” by Suzie Boss are two articles on Edutopia, a website sponsored by filmmaker George Lucas. These articles address the issue of bridging the digital divide in the classroom. “Mending the Breach: Overcoming the Digital Divide” provides a closer look at what the digital divide is and who it affects most while “Overcoming Technology Barriers: How to Innovate Without Extra Money or Support” provides five easy and practical steps toward better digital integration in the classroom without having access to more funds or personnel. “Mending the Breach: Overcoming the Digital Divide” describes the digital divide as “the gap between those people and communities with access to information technology and those without it” (Carvin, 2001). This article describes several characteristics of this divide including community, ethnicity, economics, and age groups. In 1999, the U.S. Department of Commerce published a report describing that while some communities are gaining greater access to information technologies, others are falling further behind. This article revealed that families that earn more than $75,000 a year are twenty times more likely to have access to the Internet at home than those who earn less than $75,000 a year. This report also revealed that Caucasians are more likely to have access to the Internet at home than African-Americans or Latinos have from any location, including work, school, and home. Hispanics are half as likely to own a computer as Caucasians and nearly two-and-a-half times less likely to have access to the Internet if they owned a computer. Additionally, those with a college degree or higher are ten times more likely to have Internet access at work than those with only some high school education. The digital divide in the classroom closely parallels...
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