Teaching in a Digital World-Deanne Drayton

The Digital Divide

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bridge

Image Source: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week we looked at the digital divide, the gap between the haves and the have nots of digital technology. With so much global poverty I was not surprised to learn there was a huge gap when it comes to digital technologies. Sadly in Australia we too face a digital divide, many people think we are immune to this, but we are not. As a Youth Services Coordinator and running a youth center in a low socio-economic area, I saw this divide first hand. Lower socio-economic households do not have the same access to technologies as their middle and upper socio-economic counterparts (Howell, 2009). This is where schools come in and work to bridge this divide to make it smaller and equip all children with the skills to compete in life outside of school

I read a report into bridging the Digital Divide; Creating opportunities for marginalized young people to get together by VicHealth. The study was conducted over a 3 year period, exploring young people’s use of ICT and its potential use in mental health prevention and promotion initiatives. The review found young people are using technology in a variety of settings, however, due to marginalization young people were economically vulnerable to the cost of using technology and that service providers require more training and education to equip themselves with the skills to engage young people from marginalized communities in the use of ICT ( Blanchard et al., 2007). Perhaps that is what we need to do in Australia in particular is upskill our service providers and teachers to give them the skills to teach young people from these marginalized communities so that these young people can participate effectively in the digital world which starts with may even start in kindergarten to prepare our students for a bright digital future.

This week I created an infographic on the digital divide. Firstly what I needed to know to create the infographic was information about the digital divide and some statistics I could work with before I began to put the infographic together. The video we were given to watch for topic four, TEDxSanMigueldeAllende – Aleph Molinari – Bridging the Digital Divide, I found very informative this is where the majority of my information came from. While I am that almost 45 year old mother being referred to as part of the digital divide, I have been lucky enough to have continued studying and learning new skills when it comes to digital technology. I am aware though others are not as lucky, I have a friend who is 36 and she continually comes to me asking for help when it comes to technology and I don’t believe I am even close to being fluent in digital technology.

Once I had taken my information I then planned my infographic, I wanted the graph to be visually appealing, informative yet not containing a lot of words. This required careful planning; I wanted my infographic to flow into each section. Wordle (www.wordle.net/) was used to create a mash up of words from words I took to mean digital divide. Below is the Wordle I produced. If you click on the Wordle you will be directed to the original source.
Wordle: Untitled

I used Microsoft PowerPoint to create a pie chart to present the statistics, I inserted images I chose to represent the digital divide; different fonts and colours were used to create the information, I took all of this and created my infographic in Piktochart. I didn’t know Piktochart existed until now and it was so much fun to use, I can see children in a classroom using this and enjoying what they produce and it didn’t require a lot of skill either. I feel from grade 2 up in primary school would be very capable of using Piktochart. Large amounts of creativity could go into producing an infograph, students would be able to express themselves easily and in a fun way. I am hoping that my 8 year old daughter has a project coming up where I can introduce her to Pictochart and show her how to use it for her school work.
Infograph entry 2

The other infographics viewed on the discussion board varied either visually or with the information other students have captured. I particularly like Tehillah Newcombe’s, and how she represented the statistics of the digital divide on which I thought were African huts and a city, it was very different and very visually appealing.

I was happy with the feedback I received on my infographic; I was trying to achieve everything that Amanda said my infographic was like. I aimed for structured, clear and concise, I wanted it to be brief yet contain a lot of information with images and little wording; I think I achieved that.

References:

Blanchard, M. Metcalf, A. & Burns, J. (2007) Bridging the Digital Divide: Creating opportunities for marginalized young people to get connected. VicHealth. Retrieved 29 September 2014, from http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/~/media/ProgramsandProjects/Publications/Attachments/BridgingDigitalDivideReport2007.ashx.

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

References for infograph:

Molinari, A. (2001, October 6). Bridging the Digital Divide. Retrieved 29 September 2014, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaxCRnZ_CLg

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