Digital divide … or digital inclusion?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010 | technology

This picture speaks volumes!

Teachers are teaching learners in classrooms devoid of all technology, while almost every learner carries a cell phone.  That means learners are party to digital inclusion, while their teachers are not.

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8 Comments to Digital divide … or digital inclusion?

Thursday, 25 March, 2010

It’s so important to get teachers to understand the importance of their own digital inclusion, because:
“the evidence of performance gains through the use of digital technologies for learning is too robust to dismiss or ignore.”
Read this very interesting report from BECTA, written only four months ago.

David Mathe
Thursday, 25 March, 2010

It is a sad state of affairs indeed, if, as Mr Clinton Walker likes to say, “the tail wags the dog”.

When pupils’ ICT capability is so good that it outstrips their teachers’ subject knowledge , ultimately the pupils’ academic growth becomes constrained and stunted. After all, a soccer/rugby/cricket team is only as good as the coach that sits on its bench.

Thursday, 25 March, 2010

It’s a funny and backward situation. Children have got to grips with technology to a point where it is almost transparent. It is not the technology that inspires them, but what it enables.

One of the imbalances – as I see it – is that children don’t have digital mentors. We’ve learnt to drive a car, have immersed ourselves in the driving experience, handled difficult and dangerous situations, and now almost instinctively foresee problems and avoid them. But digitally, many adults are way behind because they are late comers to the internet. Children, when given the chance, immerse themselves digitally. This I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing when done under controlled and structured environment, and/or with specific outcomes over a set period.

Children are sometimes our digital mentors, and that can be quite frightening.

Friday, 26 March, 2010

Kobus stated some time ago….” the weakest link is the principal.” Granted.

But recently I have “discovered” and “non-scientifically research” and came across an interesting “observation.

The following statement was made by a well-known school principal: ….”the chain in my school is just as strong as the weakest link …. the educator …. who does not want to become digitally inclined nor interested to attend any “ICT courses” to enrich him or her with cyberspace knowledge”. This principal is not an expert, but at least digitally inclined, laptop, webcam, software knowledge, flash / memory stick and some other bells and whistles. He finds it difficult to get the staff digitally “trained”. You can bring the horse to the water, but you cannot …..

My own experience @ schools is that the educator(s) is (are) avoiding technology as far as possible due to the fact that it does not form part of his 4x concrete another brick in the wall parameters. He / she is happy with an A4 notebook, textbook, red pen and white chalk. “Don’t give me this technology @*&^%$#*&@%.” is a comment by some educators. The weakest link can cause a real catastrophic disaster. HOW ?

Here it is: An educator just want to use a computer to print a test ….uses his / her memory stick (without going through the right procedures how to use it – as he / she is not “interested” to listen to advice)…. the result was 1000e of virusses from his infected memory stick onto the whole network in a 0.00001 sec flash !! If that educator just wanted to becomne digitally inclined he could have saved the school all the trouble of the 1000e virusses on the system affecting all other educators ….INCLUDING HIM /HER … THE WEAKEST LINK !!

Albie for ALL educators to become DIGITAL EXPERTS

Mark C
Saturday, 27 March, 2010

I think that educators are digitally included (via cell phones). It is just that they only use a few features and not those features WE think they must or will use. Mobile technology can is fertile ground for a dynamic education where the learner now becomes the educator and the educator the learner. What we must be careful of is digital intrusion where it is not educationally sound to use. We cannot push digital technology as the answer to every educational ill we have. There are other technologies that can be used if you define technology as ideas to change something instead of looking an electronic device for every problem.

Is it possible for a school to have improved its Literacy and Numeracy scores over a number of years without having a single computer or IAWB for teaching and learning? The answer is: YES! So what technology are these educators using other than digital technology? Maybe we should find out and asked how they can improve even further.

A fear they have is not about being included in the digital era but rather another human problem-teacher bashing. They have been bashed around by WCED officials when standing up for what they believed worked at their school. Their way of working was not Ayoba….not OBE. They can use digital technology and they have in the past, but will they be bashed around the ears again for not using it the way they are told to use it? How about using digital technology when it is appropriate and not because you are forced to?

Dwayne Bailey
Tuesday, 13 April, 2010

Haha, love that picture.

Picking up on the coach metaphor, a coach doesn’t need to be as good at cricket as the players. She just needs to know how to coach. Are we trying to turn teachers into pupils, rather then make them good teachers?

I’m a child of the 80′s. I saw some really interesting low tech at schools. None of it worked because it was just too hard to use, but the overhead projector arrived and revolutionised teaching for many. Man was that easy and it was always just there, in every classroom and ready to go.

My feeling is we’re still trying to make teachers conform to an ICT paradigm that doesn’t help teachers or learners. We drag them off to computer lab (even in the 80s I didn’t actually do any experiments in my science lab) where they get a little bit of this tech interface from some pretty horrible games, or maybe do a little bit of research, etc, etc.

Don’t you find it odd that many schools still work on a paper based record system where this is one area where computers are just so much better? Are we trying to squeeze them in where they don’t work while not using them where they could really really help?

Saturday, 15 May, 2010

If you’re in the corner and have no money to get out from that, you will require to take the mortgage loans. Because it will help you unquestionably. I take car loan every time I need and feel OK because of it.

[...] role in helping learners to move towards digital inclusion.  But teachers must hurry up – learners are overtaking them.  Many learners have cell phones in their pockets.  They seldom use these devices to make calls [...]

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