I understand digital inequalities as the different levels of usage people have with technology today. This could be because of their socioeconomic situations, their opportunities of usage, technology available and their own personal skills and cost.
In making this presentation I had the opportunity to use Voice Thread for the first time. It was very interesting to see how the whole site worked and how we could work together as a group and at our own times. For the first week I did a lot of research on Idaho and the state’s network as well as the schools network. There are definitely issues with targeting the more remote areas of the state, and the end user’s ability to access at varied levels of performance. In researching the website for Idaho’s state department of education (Idaho, 2012), I had found out they already had a technology plan to upgrade their Internet services for all of their school districts and school sites. The information that was most useful came from Bridging the Digital Divide: Expanding the Idaho Digital Divide PowerPoint (Calas, n.d.) . It appears that by the end of 2012 they should have upgraded al their schools network and that includes the Charter schools. I also found it pretty awesome that they also have VTC available. This information was helpful in determining that the school sites might be the next best thing to use in our digital inequality presentation as a second choice. The first choice in our presentation was to upgrade and add computers to all public libraries. Well actually here is the list below that we came up with; number one being our top option and number seven being our last choice. Also listed below the red notes are my comments on the topics.
- Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when the computers are available. I think this is a very good thing to continue to do.
- Expand staffing and other resources so that public schools can be open to the public after normal school hours, on weekends, and during the summer months. I also think this might be something to look at as well; we would need to figure out costs for someone to oversee the computer labs and to help out, so probably hiring a person for each school would be something worth spending money on. There are 200 schools total (including charter schools).
- Provide individuals in disadvantaged communities with computers. This is also a wonderful idea and I believe this would be best supported by adding computers to their local public libraries and / or community center’s for the dispersed communities.
- Provide high-speed Internet and mobile access for all state residents. From what I can find out it appears that all schools now have high-speed internet access at least according to the IEN (Idaho Education Network) report. Here is the link: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=bridging%20the%20digital%20divide%3A%20expanding%20the%20idaho%20education%20network&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sde.idaho.gov%2Fsite%2Fdocs%2FAnnual%2520Superintendent%25202010%2FIEN%2FBridging%2520the%2520Digital%2520Divide.pptx&ei=ZWlET7f4HuOciQLbzZzEDg&usg=AFQjCNFAC1AeVQnhMAsg-MuTz1uCg-Z7VA&sig2=xd5tkIzJw7u6VyLJ5fNrng It’s actually a Power Point report and won’t take long to read/digest.Check this site out: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/studentscomefirst/ and read the technology report.
- Subsidize Internet Service Providers to provide low-cost Internet to all state residents. This is very good but I think that there are
- Provide information literacy courses to enhance computer skills and enable knowledgeable use of digital technologies. This is a definite in my opinion. It could also be provided through local libraries. We could put in our plan to hire one person per county to travel and teach courses for library patrons and also put information for self-help on the library website.
- Develop free online educational content, giving first priority to content most relevant to lower socio-economic groups before content that is relevant to the rest of the public. I might have already hit on this one through item 6. Do you think that somehow to guides might serve this area the best? Things that are more than likely relevant are things for job skills and self-help items. But definitely some self-taught lessons for Microsoft office tools/ open office tools (since they are free).
One problem that I did have in working with my group is somehow missing a piece of communication about a group meeting. I worked on the Google Doc that was set up and never did catch up to my group again until the second week. It all worked out though as we each were digging up information for our selected parts of the group assignment.
When you look at the presentation you can tell what part of the assignment that I helped out on. Through Voice Thread, I chose to try all three types of communication from video to audio and then text. That’s when it hit me about how would a person with hearing problems be able to understand this presentation; that’s when I decided it was a good thing to add text to all the slides.
Here is the link to Group C’s Digital Inequality Presentation:
Group C Digital Inequality Presentation
Calas, L. (n.d.). Idaho Education Network (IEN). Idaho Education Network (IEN). Retrieved February 16, 2012, from http://www.ien.idaho.gov/
Idaho State Department of Education – Superintendent Tom Luna. (n.d.). Idaho State Department of Education. Retrieved February 26, 2012, from http://www.sde.idaho.gov/
AECT Standards for assignment:
3.2Diffusion of Innovations
Diffusion of innovations is the process of communicating through planned strategies for the purpose of gaining adoption.
3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization
Implementation is using instructional materials or strategies in real (not simulated) settings. Institutionalization is the continuing, routine use of the instructional innovation in the structure and culture of an organization.