Monday, October 1, 2007

Digital Divide 2.0

I grew up in the generation that first discussed and emulated the digital divide. Now reading an article about the Digital Divide 2.0 brings some thoughts to mind as my students remind me that having a webpage of information is useless to them as they have no access to the web or even, sometimes, a computer at home. The article describes the old divide between the have and the have nots, but that costs have gone down and most homes have a PC. The new divide is that between old and the new uses for the internet or Web 2.0 applications. They talk about how the divide is now about equity and the experiences that our students have. It goes back to a video shown in our trainings about how we're preparing our students for a generation of work that will be wireless, paperless, and officeless; however, it will have more information, more collaboration and more and different technologies. I guess can we say the experience we're providing in our classrooms truely prepare them for what we have no perception of, that will eventually be their everyday life? For instance most of our parents grew up with a typewriter in the home, now nearly every home has a PC with internet access, and that internet is now evolved in the Web 2.0. Where can it go next (anywhere, everywhere), and how do we prepare for the unknown?

But wait, let's throw a fear in there...a television show called Dark Angel started with the premise that a massive EMP went off destroying most of the computer networks (government, personal, etc) what would people do then? Are we also preparing our students for the possiblility they may not use technology in their chosen field?


Stewart said...

Do we watch too much TV? Personally, I thought the earlier video that we saw about preparing students for a future that we can't imagine yet was a trailer for a new horror flick. It's scary because its true... I had an interesting aha momment myself when I visited the Colorado Railroad Museum with my family. So much tangible history about a device that connected people and places that weren't connected before. Eerily familiar, huh? Will there be a WWW museum someday? Can the past teach us anything? There are always haves and have nots. How do we deal with it in education?

Joseph Miller said...

Great post. The challenge to prepare students for a future we cannot anticipate is one we have to accept as educators. As Global Learners we are betting that that the new skills that will be needed in the future are collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. Our belief is that if we can create challenging and engaging courses that stress content and collaboration, communication, and critical thinking that our students will have a better chance at being competitive in the future. This should be true regardless of whether their job demands technology.

Do you think that collaboration, communication, and critical thinking can be successfully taught ?