Does an interactive whiteboard lead to digital inclusion?

Sunday, February 14th, 2010 | IWBs

A huge gap exists between those sections of the population that have access to digital resources, such as computers, the internet, and other technologies, and those that do not. This gap is known as the “digital divide”.

The digital divide includes the imbalance in physical access to digital and information technology, as well as the imbalance in connectivity, and the skills needed to participate effectively as a digital citizen.

This divide is clearly seen in schools today.  The current classroom was designed centuries ago.  The blackboard was invented in 1801 and after all the years still occupies centre stage.  Technology has not yet altered the majority of classrooms on the continent.

While we are teaching learners in venues that are on the wrong side of the digital divide, many learners – in fact, most of them – have already crossed the line and are now digitally included.  They may not have access to computers at home, but they are using cell phones to connect digitally to their peers.  When you send a text message, you’ve attained some degree of digital inclusion.

Sending text messages is a far cry from benefiting fully from the promised land side of the digital divide.  More digital skills are required.  Teachers can play a critical role in helping learners to cross the divide fully.  But it is impossible if they try to do this in a setting created during a pre-digital age.

An interactive whiteboard is a smart step towards establishing a digital environment – it can transform your classroom into a modern digital learning centre, where your learners interact with digital technology on a daily basis.  But the installation of the board is just a beginning. You, as the teacher, must have the courage to cross the digital divide.  An interactive whiteboard will help you too, in a non-threatening way, to walk this road.

The introduction of an interactive whiteboard is an important step towards digital inclusion for both you and your learners.

Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.

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1 Comment to Does an interactive whiteboard lead to digital inclusion?

Mark C
Monday, 15 February, 2010

Having watched the weather on e-tv it seems as if they use an interactive whiteboard or screen at least. If this is so learners would have identified that they have a similar device in their classroom. How cool would it be if they could identify with a meteorologist / climatologist moving things around explaining weather patterns? In fact, the whiteboard was featured on a SABC TV programme on makeovers for homes. I wonder how many schools noticed that?

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