As the fall semester progresses in school districts around Colorado, the trend of integrating technology into all aspects of education marches on. More developers are designing engaging software and online platforms for learning, and more educators are embracing them. It is natural to assume that innovation in education will incorporate the best technology. There is only one problem with that equation: in areas where there is a pronounced “digital divide,” a lack of access to technology may be putting students even further behind.
This was apparent in an article
featured last month in the Miami Herald titled Schools Stress Libraries and Families with Digitally Dependent Homework. The article outlined, “yet one more way to stress out low income families—by assigning homework that requires an Internet connection and a working computer.” The solution recommended to families in this situation? Find a Wi-Fi hotspot or go to the local library. While the possibility of delivering digital learning tools is exciting, few people are considering how that might impact students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Instead of having the opportunity to embrace and grow technology skills, many of these students end up marginalized.
Stories like this are more common then we may realize. At KidsTek, the mission of bridging the digital divide is achieved through programs that give students access to hardware and education in digital literacy skills. Last year, in partnership with Comcast and their innovative Internet Essentials
program, KidsTek was able to put new laptops in the hands of 60 students who completed a program. We know that when we provide meaningful technology tools and training, our students will gain the skills and confidence to be successful in all their post-secondary endeavors!
To follow the work of KidsTek, and see how we are addressing the digital divide with our students, follow our Facebook page