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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?
Maria

Comments

electric_box
Mar. 30th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
A provocative question. In my experience, distance language learning has primarily been carried out in contexts with rich digital access and training. However, I have encountered echoes of the digital divide in my own ESL teaching here in the United States. In a class of mixed nationalities, one student from Sudan could not even engage in online quizzes or use word processing. She was unfamiliar with a mouse and was vastly overwhelmed by the many icons and menus in MS Word.
loula_1983
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Thankyou for your comment and that great example of your student. It really exemplifies the digital divide in the classroom. You are right distance learning can only take place in contexts where there is access to the technology needed.

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