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Overcoming the Digital

Divide
Ellen Baltz
EDIT 704

Digital Divide
Definition: unequal access to digital and network resources, including
the Internet, and opportunities to learn using information and
communication technologies. The gaps are usually concerned with
economic, social and cultural issues, such as income, age, education,
gender, ethnic backgrounds, and physical handicaps.

Factors that Play Into the Digital Divide


Based on the text Teaching and Learning with Technology, there are
many factors that play into the digital divide found around our nation.
Some of the factors include:
-socioeconomic status
-ethnicities
-disabilities
-houses with lower education levels

Mapping the Digital Divide- The White


House
Household Income and Home Internet
Use (2013)
Plotting median income against number
of residents who use Internet at
home
The trend shows the higher the income
the more likely to have Internet at
home
The trend also shows that the lower the
household income, the less likely to
have Internet at home

Mapping the Digital Divide- The White


Percent
of U.S. Households with Internet
House
Access, 2001 to 2013
All Households
The percentage of households that have
Internet has been rising since 2001
Race of Head of Household
Asian households are more likely to have
Internet
Native American households are least likely to
have Internet
Educational Attainment of Head of
Household
The more education the head of the household
has the more likely their house will have
Internet

Bridge the Gap


As the digital divide continues to grow, district employees,
administrators, and teachers need to search for innovative ways to help
students continue to grow as 21st century learners. Here are some ways
to close the digital divide:
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): allow students to bring their own
personal device to class. This would be an effective solution, as the
students will already be familiar with the device and would be costeffective ($0).
Leasing Programs: providing students with an opportunity to lease
a device from the school at a lower cost.
Computer Labs: teachers can utilize the computer labs that are set up
within the schools

Bridge the Gap


4:1 Model: having groups of about four students all share one device
Before and After Access: schools can provide opportunities for
students access devices and Internet before and after school to
complete homework that involves technology
Community Centers: provide students with transportation to
community centers or libraries so that they can complete work that
involves technology

Digital Divide in the Eyes of Student

Helping Students Combat the Digital Divide:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KSkWalm

Video Synopsis
The future of students around the United States is sometimes determined based on the
neighborhood they live in, the school they attend, or the amount of money they have. The
effects of this- the digital divide found within these neighborhoods, schools, and in students
homes. This video presents a story of the digital divide found within a city in Southern
California. After horrible circumstances, the city experienced an economy drop where
families now struggle to survive. With this economy drop, many schools have suffered. In
order to help students overcome the struggles that come with the digital divide an
organization was created, called A Place Called Home. At A Place Called Home hundreds of
underserved kids are helped daily ranging from elementary school to high school. The
organization provides tutoring, counseling, and many different technology resources. Their
goal is to get youngsters into the text generation. They have two computer labs; one even
for the dropout recovery program they host. They also have a study hall where they teach
computer literacy sciences and typing skills. Now, A Place Called Home is launching an

Personal Experience
Working in a Title I school as a 5th grade teacher, I am lucky to have 1:1 devices for my
students. Each of my students as their own personal iPad provided from the Horry County
School District Office. Although we are able to use technology daily within the classroom,
there a many students who do not have access to technology or the Internet at home.
Since many of my students dont have access to technology or Internet at home, many
assignments that are done in class must be completed in class. So as an educator, I have
had to think of ways that my students can still effectively become 21st century learners.
In order to do this I have found an iPad app, Good Notes, which allows my students to
digitally take notes and annotate on PDF files I have provided for them. When our unit is
over the students can then upload their digital notebook onto Google Classroom which will
allow them to view it at home as well. For those students who do not have access to
technology or the Internet at home and because they arent allow to take their iPads home, I
print their digital notebooks to my printer so that they can have their notes to study. This
allows ALL of my students to continue to grow as 21st century learners, even without access
to technology or the Internet at home.

References
(2015). HELPING STUDENTS COMBAT THE DIGITAL DIVIDE. Retrieved July 12, 2016, from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KSkWalmV1s
Harvey, B. (2014, July 14). Bridging the Digital Divide in Classrooms. Retrieved July 12, 2016,
from http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/07/02/ctq-harvey-digital.html
Lever-Duffy, J., & McDonald, J. B. (2003). Teaching and learning with technology. Boston:
Pearson Education
Mapping the Digital Divide. (2015, July). Council of Economic Advisers Issue Brief,1-10.
Retrieved July 12, 2016, from
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/wh_digital_divide_issue_brief.pdf