Imagine the outrage from parents, teachers, and the community if a school announced that some of its students would have access to textbooks, research papers, and literature, but other students would be denied those resources. Some students would be branded as worthy, while others as second class.
It baffles me that broadband Internet access in our schools is not seen as such as concern. However, it is encouraging to hear that this digital divide is not being accepted in some schools- just look at two districts in North Carolina — Asheville and Green County. “We have kids with voracious appetites for information. It’s our responsibility to give them the tools they need to satisfy their own curiosity of learning,” an Asheville media specialist says. And Greene County educators say its program to provide laptops “breaks down the digital divide between students who have access to technology at home and those that don’t, and it also better prepares students for a workforce that is increasingly reliant on technology.”
I applaud the efforts of these schools. What lessons could their experience mean to your schools? Read more:
And speaking of Asheville, Mayor Terry Bellamy has made broadband access among the high-profile issues on her agenda. She doesn’t miss a chance to discuss how the gap must be closed on the digital divide. I’m sure thinking like that is one reason that in 2005 she was the first African-American elected as mayor in the city. I’m just as certain it is one of the reasons that just last week she was re-elected for another four-year term.