Ed Tech 501: Digital Divide/Inequality Presentation

Reflections on Digital Divide assignment (weeks of 04/01-04/14)

This assignment spanned a two week time period, with week one being spent on researching the digital divide & digital inequality, and week two preparing a narrated presentation on an issue and possible solution relating to digital divide that we have experienced.

First, this project required a lot of “thought time” to develop the topic, and figure out how to proceed with the presentation.  My first thoughts were that I haven’t experienced that much with the digital divide at our school.  In my six years teaching, only one student did not have internet access at home, and we are fortunate in our town, that most people have access to wired internet through our local cable company, and some people actually have the choice between cable access and Fios access.  It is still expensive, but in this town, it appears that accessing the internet at home is not the problem.  I then thought about two issues that I have been confronted with at school relating to the digital divide.  One is giving students who are out on extended medical absences access to the curriculum digitally, the second is having access to technology and the internet at school.  I chose the latter because, if we can harness digital power at school and create lessons incorporating access to lessons via computers, it will begin to address the former issue as well.

On that note, I set out to explore the digital inequality that exists in our high school.  This presentation attempts to outline the problem of accessing computers at Mansfield High as it relates to our core learning values.  The presentation proposes a possible solution via a hybrid one to one computing initiative combined with BYOD.

Here is the link presentation.  Simply click the play button to listen to & watch the presentation.  Looking forward to your feedback.

I chose the following AECT standards for this topic.

2.4 Integrated Technologies because this assignment required us to use different media to create the presentation.

“Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 40).  Integrated technologies are typically hypermedia environments which allow for: (a) various levels of learner control, (b) high levels of interactivity, and (c) the creation of integrated audio, video, and graphic environments. Examples include hypermedia authoring and telecommunications tools such as electronic mail and the World Wide Web.

3.2 Diffusion of Innovations because I hope that this presentation will begin the discussion of integrating technology at the school where I teach.

“Diffusion of innovations is the process of communicating through planned strategies for the purpose of gaining adoption” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 46). With an ultimate goal of bringing about change, the process includes stages such as awareness, interest, trial, and adoption.

3.4 Policies and Regulations because any change that involves technology in the classroom compared to our current curriculum delivery involves reviewing and updating current district policy. “Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 47). This includes such areas as web-based instruction, instructional and community television, copyright law, standards for equipment and programs, use policies, and the creation of a system which supports the effective and ethical utilization of instructional technology products and processes.


Governing the States and Localities. (2013). Broadband speeds and availability in the US. Retrieved from http://www.governing.com/gov-data/broadband-speeds-availability.html

 Mansfield High School.  (2012).   Mansfield High School Student Handbook, retrieved frohttp://mansfieldschools.com/MHS/pdf%20files/MHS%202012-2013%20Student%20Handbook%20(sent%20to%20Primeir).pdf

Mullin, John (2012).  Towards the implementation of Mansfield’s five year strategic plan, the priorities. Retrieved from http://www.mansfieldma.com/The_Strategic_Plan_Priorities_5-1-2012.pdf

The Endicott Research Center, (2012). New England Association of Schools & Colleges Commission on Public Secondary Schools self-study survey results for Mansfield High School, retrieved from http://mansfieldschools.com/MHS/pdf%20files/NEASC/NEASC-CPSS_Aggregate_Report_10-11.pdf

US Department of Education.  (2010).  Transforming America, learning powered by technology. retrieved from  http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010-execsumm.pdf

3 responses to “Ed Tech 501: Digital Divide/Inequality Presentation

  1. You are fortunate you teach in an area that has such outstanding Internet access. It sounds like you are on the right track to making some great improvements with a proactive attitude. I think your solution will work and will be successful. I like the idea of BYOD. I tried a modified version of it this year in the fourth grade but it did not go over well at all. In fact it was an epic fail but I will try again.


    • Thanks, yes we are lucky being here, excellent broadband access. I sometimes let my students use their smartphones to read from a website that we use a lot, but to utilize technology, we really need wifi so we can use other devices as well (or go 1:1…very expensive). I did read somewhere that the students who were off task before computers, still may be off task using the computers, but I’m hoping that adding technology will help some students take more ownership. Of course, classroom management is a must, I teach high school,and the “senioritis” is setting in, so there is a lot of redirection, or at least making sure students are aware of the consequences of not fully participating in the activity (involving tech or not).

  2. Caroline

    I found this to be our most challenging assignment in this course. Like you, my student population all have internet access at home and our real challenge is being able to provide them with the tech tools and internet access at school. All in all, I really liked your presentation and felt that your school is facing the same challenges that mine is on the other side of the world. Great job!


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