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Maria's WK 10 discussion prompt

Sanchez-Serano (2008) talks about the difficulties in distance learning, and some of us may have experienced some of these difficulties in our last class. Many of these problems dealt with the technology itself. However, Sanchez-Serano mentions a more ethical concern dealing with the digital divide, and asks how this divide affects distance learning, in particular foreign language teaching. So, my question is have you seen first hand the effects of the digital divide in distance learning - foreign language? If not what do you think are the effects? What are some ways teachers and/or ELLs can overcome the digital divide?


Mar. 29th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Digital Divide
The Internet has ushered in the greatest period of wealth creation in history. It has transformed the way we deliver and receive information and the way we do business. It has changed education in ways we never thought of. It has been a force that was unexpected. The force that is with us , is the force of change. The place where this change makes the most difference is debated, but a child growing up without access, knowledge, or understanding of the use of technology and its importance in today's world is handicapped. School is a bridge for many. Learning places may include telecenters or community centers and libraries. Learning often takes place with a mentor or a peer who is involved in the use of technology.
The digital divide is stretching over a lot of other places of divide in our society. But the technology that it represents is such a powerful force, it can make a huge difference if we understand the use of technology and use it well. The weightless goods that travel over the Internet represent knowledge and information. Many who have it are unaware of the power of what they have.
Technology, used creatively, can also make a big difference in the way teachers teach and students learn. In some classrooms, teachers are using the Internet to keep up with the latest developments in their field, exchange lesson plans with their colleagues, and communicate more frequently with parents.
Despite the rapid growth of wired schools in recent years, surveys suggest that use of technology to affect classroom practice tends to be limited to small groups of teachers who are excited by the potential they believe technology has to motivate their students or to access new resources.
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Digital Divide
Thankyou for your comment. You make a very interesting point about technology in the classroom being limited to a small group of teachers who are excited about its potential. I can see how this is true in many cases, but I think this also has to do with the lack of access as Song mentioned before. Not all schools and/or students have access to technology.


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