Digital Divide

The week’s task called for the creation of an infographic on the digital divide. I personally find infographics to be a visually appealing way to convey information or a message. This was not my first encounter with info-graphics; in previous subjects throughout this course I have had to use and create info-graphics to present a variety of different information. As a result of this I was able to draw on my prior knowledge and experiences in order complete the task in a more timely and efficient manner.

I found the topic of the digital divide to be an ideal subject on which to create an info-graphic on as it allowed me an opportunity to explore the concept some more and produce my own understanding of the topic. After participating in all the readings on the topic I realised I still had trouble processing the concept. This was partially due to the fact that not only have I always had access to current technologies and a curiosity to learn how to utilise these skills, but I always believed that those in my community had the same opportunities. Watching the video file Bridging the digital divide (Molinari, 2011). I was overwhelmed by the statistics reported with those that are not competent in the use of technologies. Because of my own inability to comprehend the complex subject, I endeavored to create a simple, aesthetically pleasing info-graphic that explained the topic in a way that anybody could.

Looking at the theoretical underpinnings we have been exploring in addition to such issues, this aspect has me questioning the relevance of the connectivism theory. The connectivsm theory is based on the premise that knowledge is constructed through networks and connections (Howell, 2012) and that it is not the acquisition of knowledge that is in important; but rather the ability to seek it out within a system (Siemens, 2004 cited in Brill, 2008). As an educator, this sparks the question to me; are those who are not able to access technology unable to learn?

In relation to the second assessment, I would like to continue venturing into how the incorporation of technology into the classroom can help in potentially bridging the gap and look at what else teachers could do in the classroom to allow students access to the resources necessary to build skills and competency to function in the digital world.  As educators, I believe our role does not end with offering students the opportunity to access technologies, but that it is equally important we teach them how to properly use the equipment and resources (Hess & Leal, 2001).

References

Brill, A. (2008).  Connectivism, globalization, and the digital divide: A resource for bridging the gap. Retrieved September 26, 2014 from http://dmlprojects.wiki.usfca.edu/file/view/Connectivism,+Globalization,+and+the+Digital+Divide_Aaron+Brill_John+Bansavich_12_10_08.pdf

Hess, F., Leal, D. (2001). A shrinking digital divide? The provision of classroom computers across urban school system. Social Science Quartely 82(4). Retrieved September 26, 2014 from http://imet.csus.edu/imet7/gale/poster%20imet/Shrinking%20Digital%20divide.pdf

Howell, J. (2012).  Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity, Oxford University Press: South Melbourne, Australia.

Molinari, A. (2011). Bridging the digital divide. [Video file]. Video posted to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaxCRnZ_CLg

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Digital Security

This week’s topic alerted me to many of the dangers that both children and adults alike can be subjected to in the online world. Identity theft, scams and cyberbullying are all important issues to be aware of as users of the online community.

For the weekly tasks I chose to focus on cyberbullying as I felt this would be one issue that would be most relevant to me as a future educator and an issue that I would almost certainly come into contact with. While the task only called for discussion on one news article, as this is such a prominent issue in today’s society, there were an abundance of news articles on this topic and I found myself reading through several articles on a variety of elements regarding cyber bullying. I found a lot of the research both confronting and worrying and set out to find preventative strategies and ideas to create awareness.

Cyberbullying is the bullying or harassment that occurs through technologies such as computers and mobile phones. Perpetrators will use SMS, e-mail and Facebook to spread their message. (University of Gothenburg, 2010). One news report I found stated that Australia has been ranked number one in online harassment, with one in four children reporting being harassed or bullied on social networks (“Australia ranked one in cyberbullying”, 2013). The article reiterated the relevance of this issue in a primary school setting with the reveal that 80 per cent of Australian children under 10 are now active on social networks (“Australia ranked one in cyberbullying”, 2013).

One reason cyberbullying can cause so much harm is the inability to escape the harassment. In cases of face-to-face or playground bullying, the bullying stops once victims are away from the bully, this is not the case in cyberbullying (University of Gothenburg, 2010).

As educators, an awareness of this bullying is a step in the right direction in addressing the issue. Research conducted by the University of British Columbia suggests the need for programs aimed at reducing cyberbullying in particular. This is due to the assumption that the many established programs aimed at preventing bullying cover cyber bullying as well and this is not always the case (University of British Columbia, 2012).

I believe as educators we need to teach students how to act responsibly and safely online and similarly show an interest in their safety and the sites they like to visit (University of Gothenburg, 2010) in an attempt to reduce the occurrence of this online aggression.

There is some useful links below that has a lot of useful hints and information on how to be cyber smart.

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Kids.aspx

References

Australia ranked one in cyberbullying. (2013). Mandurah Mail. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from http://www.mandurahmail.com.au/story/1727945/australia-ranked-one-in-cyberbullying/

ETCB Organization (2013). End cyberbullying 2014. [Video file]. Video posted to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfT2qqrqzgo

Ranjan, A.(2014). Cyberbullying vs Bullying [Image] http://www.techtricksworld.com/cyberbullying/

University of British Columbia. (2012). Cyberbullying and bullying are not the same. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413122202.htm

University of Gothenburg. (2010). Cyberbullying: A growing problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222104939.htm