How do you define: Equal accesso to the Digital World

The topic for a course I'm teaching this week is one of the NH 610 requirements on certified teachers which simply states that in elementary education, teachers will have knowledge of how to provide equal access to the digital world. I'm curious what this means to you. I know what it means to me, but thought it an interesting topic of conversation.

One one hand, it could mean that the teacher must physically provide access within the lesson or classroom. But would that mean it needs to extend beyond? Would an assignment (even one that isn't required to do online) that could be done online provide an unfair advantage to those without access at home?

On the other hand, it could mean knowledge, just having a car doesn't mean that you have access to the highway system, you need to know how to use it.

What does it mean to you?

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Would an assignment (even one that isn't required to do online) that could be done online provide an unfair advantage to those without access at home?

NO: The reality is that kids have varying advantages and disadvantages at home. Some kids have parents who require that they do their homework and who are involved in their education. Some kids have parents whose priorities lay elsewhere. As teachers we are powerless in regard to the home issue-yet we expend a lot of energy, time and resources trying to manage it.

I think it means that the teacher can and does incorporate technology in the classroom and is able to provide meaningful experiences for each student to expeirence the "digital world". I'm retired now, but last course I taught f2f, I had one internet capable computer in the class. It was a 12th grade government class, so there were a number of times when we needed the up-to-date information. The computer was used by those who knew how to work it sometimes, and other times by those who needed to learn because they didn't have it available at home. For assignments that had to be done on computer (all papers and reports), any students who could not get to a computer at home, next door, grandma's house, or at the county library, were given time in class to complete those assignments. Years earlier when we had but one computer in the class, lessons were designed so that I spoke for a short time, gave an assignment, and began rotating students onto the computer to work on an online project. When they were finished online, someone else went to the computer and the students worked on the seat-work assignment. Back then none of the students had access at home and the library did not have a computer. Often the online assignment was to respond to an email as a group response with each student adding a few liines of their own, always with access to the original email and all of the responses so far.

To me, it means that the teacher must have a fairly broad knowledge of the Digital World and knows how to make projects so that everyone can experience it, in their turn. I got a lot of exercise as a teacher, bouncing between assisting a student on the computer and assisting the students working at their seats. My students, BTW, were LD/.Special Ed students who needed a fair amount of assistance working at their seats.



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