Digital Divide Access to Technology essay

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1997: School Technology and Readiness Report: From Pillars to Progress The CEO Forum on Education and Technology

9. 1999: School Technology and Readiness Report. Professional Development: A Link to Better Learning The CEO Forum on Education and Technology

10. 2000: The National Technology Education Plan, e-Learning: Putting a World Class Education at the Fingertips of All Children U.S. Department of Education

a. 2000: The Power of the Internet for Learning Web-based Education Commission

b. 2000: The Secretary's Conference on Educational Technology, Measuring Impacts and Shaping the Future U.S. Department of Education

c. 2000: School and Technology Readiness Report. The Power of Digital Learning: Integrating Digital Content The CEO Forum on Education and Technology

11. 2001 Any Time, Any Place, Any Path, Any Pace: Taking the Lead on e-Learning Policy National Association of State Boards of Education

a. 2001: Education Technology Must Be Included in Comprehensive Legislation CEO Forum on Education and Technology

b. 2001: Investing in K12 Technology Equipment: Strategies for State Policymakers Education Commission of the States

c. 2001: Student Achievement in the 21 st Century: Assessment, Alignment, Accountability, Access, Analysis CEO Forum on Education and Technology

12. 2002 Technically Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More About Technology National Academy of Engineering, National Research Council

a. 2002: Visions 2020: Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies U.S. Department of Commerce, Technology Administration

13. 2003 Learning for the 21st Century Partnership for 21st Century Skills

a. 2003: The Sustainability Challenge: Taking EdTech to the Next Level Benton Foundation, EDC/Center for Children & Technology" (quoted from McMillan et al. 2003).

One of the tangible hurdles that most school administrators face is the transportation of technology to distant branches of an institution. Alongside that, even though, in the long-run technology and its use within the institution do bring the school more profits and a higher academic standing but initially it requires a lot of careful planning and investment of not only finance but time. This includes initiating training program for teachers, implementing new and different teaching strategies to make sure that the students not only understand the use the technology but are comfortable in using it outside of their academic need.

Another hurdle or problem that most schools face is the hereditary or conservative culture that they promote i.e. The kind of culture and tradition that have existed from before the introduction of technology. The implementation of technology calls for serious alterations made in the traditional format of the teaching environment. Most teachers and students have to cope with the dynamic, complicated and advanced levels and patterns of writing, researching, communicating and presenting an idea or a project. Furthermore, they also have to cope with the wide expanse of information that technologies like internet brings with it and be able to sort through all the f acts and use that are most relevant to their topic. The overall process of learning becomes a lot more intimidating at first and that's one of the biggest challenges that administrators have to prepare for by making efficient policies. This simply means that technology and its use can trigger a change in the overall approach that schools have towards teaching and learning (CEO Forum, 1997, 1999).

According to a study conducted by the OTA, the use of technology and its resources can "extend teaching and learning processes" but more so in certain spheres then in others (OTA, 1988). For example, technology can help the overall process of data and facts collection for students and teachers and can help the students partake in out-of-school projects without actually having to go out of school premises. Furthermore, technology can also help teachers expand the overall learning experience of the students for specific subjects like art, communication or math projects by using multimedia tools. But it is important that before technology is actually implemented within the school programs, the administrators and teachers are able to recognize and distinguish the spheres of education that will benefit most from the use of technology and start there.

Many researches have focused on how the use of technology can fulfill the needs of the teachers and how lack of it can restrict their teaching capabilities (NASBE, 2001? OTA, 1995b). These studies highlight that the use of technologies by teachers can help them use various mechanisms as merely complimentary elements that can help them attain the academic objectives they had in mind like the understanding of a complex theory.

However, the problem here for most schools lies in the late recognition that for this aspect to work appropriately, there need to be certain ethical, professional and social codes of conduct designed that need to be followed by the teachers. Most schools have no problems designing the ethical and social principles but face problems in trying to understand what strategy would be professional and what wouldn't be because at times the technologies being used are not fully understood by the administrators themselves. Hence, it is important that the administrators first make themselves fully aware of the technologies that they are choosing and understand how they can be used, in the literal and the transformative sense, and then design policies based on what use is acceptable ethically, professionally and socially. The important thing to note here is that while many schools employing technology for the first time face this problem, not all of them design the same principles because each school ahs its own environment to cater to when designing these policies (CEO Forum, 2000? U.S. Department of Commerce, 2002).

It is important to note here that the accessibility to technology in our view does not only mean physical accessibility because that can be overcome with investment. It is important to intelligently be accessible to technology too which means that all of the problems of training, use of multimedia tools, filtering relevant information, using technology to support an existing learning environment, etc. And other hurdles that have been explained above need to be tackled by the administrators before it accessibility can produce benefiting results.

Perhaps the biggest and the most intimidating problem that the schools that don't have technology and want to implement it in their instruction face is the daily rising demands and changes that technological implementations demands. The fact of the matter is that if and when a school decides to introduce and implement technological mechanism within their schools, they have to act on it intelligently and swiftly and understand what they employing at a quick pace because if they linger on too much or are too slow in actually employing the technology in practical use then the fact is that the software an multimedia tools that they employ might not necessarily be the most effective ones at the time because they are two or three years old.

Furthermore, schools have to recognize the fact that the sustainability of technology is constant upgrading. Even if they are able to employ the software and tools that are most efficient for promoting a specific format of learning environment as per the need of the teachers and the students, that software will also constantly be needed to upgraded and all of its functions, in the literal sense and transformative or complimentary sense, will need to revised and re-thought-out as the students and teachers' needs change over the passage of time. (CEO Forum 1997, 2000? Conte, 1996? OTA, 1995a? PCAST Panel on Educational Technology, 1997? U.S. Department of Education, 1996, 1997). Hence, not just getting the technology but using the appropriate software tools and upgrading techniques will help the school effectively use technological within the school setting in a beneficial way.

In summary, the above pages have highlighted how lack or inequality of technological advancements impacts the student body and teachers as well as the problems that schools face due to inconsistent provision of IT sources. Some of the problems that were highlighted include: the cooperation between the administrators and the investors (private and public) to reduce the unequal investment patterns and invest in schools within the areas of minorities, low-income earners, etc.; long-term understanding of the accessibility and implementation of the technology; changing the internal culture and tradition to adapt the new technological mechanisms; employing new teaching techniques; initiating training programs; familiarizing the students with the technology so as to not overwhelm them; amongst others.

Efforts that help decrease negative impacts and assist teachers and students to improve results.

In this, the second section, of this paper we will focus on the overall efforts and policies that can help decrease negative impacts and assist teachers and students to improve the academic and teaching results in the short as well as the long run.

In analyzing the aforementioned problems, we can highlight twelve main elements that can help schools overcome the negative impacts of lack of technological implementation within schools. These are:

1. Enhance the overall utilization facilities, accessibility, and relative mechanisms and outlets outside…[continue]

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