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How serious is the digital divide?

How serious is the digital divide?

by Clare Curran
July 25th, 2012

http://blog.labour.org.nz/2012/07/25/how-serious-is-the-digital-divide

Have been sitting in the Education Select Ctte for the last month or so, hearing submissions on an inquiry into 21st century learning environment and digital literacy.

Am increasingly concerned at the consistent message to us that there is:

1. A digital divide in NZ where some schools have much better connectivity, access to technology and children are taught in an environment which incorporates the digital world, compared with schools that don’t have much of either.

2. This divide is growing, not lessening as broadband rolls out slowly to schools, prioritising higher decile areas. That the digital learning environment is not consistently supported across schools.

There have been some great examples of schools that are early adopters, have talented and committed staff which are driving change in how technology is used and the way teachers teach. But it’s not consistent.

It’s becoming clear that the learning environment and the digital environment are intertwined. Our kids need digital skills for their futures. There are however some significant barriers to this occuring.

Quantifying NZ’s digital divide is critical.

ENDS

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