Saturday, August 25, 2007

Judith Ramaley in her chapter titled "The Real Versus the Possible: Closing the Gaps in Engagement and Learning" says that many students have only limited internet access. This however is untrue in the United States. Everyone has access in their local public library. Many have access via their cellphones. Claiming limited or no access is a cop out. Parents need either to provide transportation to the library or get access at home. This is as essential as any other school supplies ever were.
In my school days, my parents purchased about $200 worth of school supplies per term. Why not ask parents to purchase the equivalent in internet access instead of more traditional books? I am not, of course, referring to public schools, where the expectation is that everything is given to the student. In this country, that has been the norm. Not so in other countries and I am not convinced in should be that way.
Why do we value a cultural norm of free public education versus expensive private education? How does this cultural norm of ours perpetuate and widen the digital divide? Is it right? Can it be changed? Should it be changed?
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Reference:
Oblinger, D. G. & J.L. (2005). Educating the Net Generation. Retrieved August 25, 2007, from Educause Web site: http://www.educause.edu/content.asp?PAGE_ID=5989&bhcp=1

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