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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