Researching digital divide and digital inequality helped give me a better understanding of the gap that exists in our digital world. I now understand how the divide goes beyond just simply having access, but also looks at how that access is being used. Internet access is increasing worldwide, through wifi, and mobile broadband. But with that increased access does not come increased digital competencies.
This assignment has helped me understand my role as an educator in ensuring that my students become digital citizens, and that they are prepared for their future professions. The National Education Technology Plan, created in 2010, provides a great resource for improving technology use for students and for helping teachers in the process.
In reflecting on my district’s technology plan, I began to realize some areas where the digital divide was present. There have been many times where I have had to modify an assignment or provide an extension to a student without technology access. I have also encountered a big gap in digital skills. Some students are “tech wizards” while others struggle with using Google Docs, Microsoft Office, and many more basic applications. I can see the importance of setting standards for all students to achieve. My school uses standards-based report cards for content knowledge and skills, I now see that it should also include digital skills within the content.
One area that I would like to learn more about is the idea of “connected-teaching” where teachers essentially work as a team to share ideas, create lessons, and work with the students. I think that having this collaboration among teachers would be invaluable!
This project also helped me learn more about multimedia principles. I learned how to keep a presentation focused and effective. Garr Reynolds’, Presentation Zen, was a great resource. It gave good guidelines to follow when creating a presentation. I like how he emphasizes starting with an “end in mind” and not “diving” right into Google Slides. I created an outline before hand to make sure I had all of the proper content in my presentation, and then went back through to find graphs, images, and statements to include on my slides. This will be a great resource as I complete future presentations for both projects in my coursework and also for professional development in my district.