To begin, I wanted to talk about the digital divide which is the gap between those who have access and those who do not. To say this is nonexistent would be a lie, but there are many positives to technology that we must focus on, rather than one downside. Technology has the ability to connect students to have more opportunities in the classroom, their personal lives, and in the community. With the agree side, I loved the example of bridge. Showing on one side, those who cannot read and on the other those who can. This is a prime example of our daily classroom practices. As teachers we must aid students with the use of technology to enhance their learning and increase their success rate. A stat that they provided was that 90% of students who are given the chance to use their technology become more independent learners. My goal in grade 8 is to create independent learners and technology has increased my ability to allow for independence. It reminded me of the Equity vs. Equality diagram below.
Assistive technology is the greatest tool for those who may need more support in a classroom. My classroom uses Google Read and Write quite frequently as it is easily accessible on our Google ChromeBooks. Google Read&Write is an interactive add on to Google Documents that can be downloaded from the AppStore onto any Apple, PC, or Smart technologies. The unique add-on reads on-screen text aloud so researching and checking written work makes many everyday tasks easier for students who need assistance when it comes to reading and writing. The add on is simple and user friendly as compared to its predecessor used in many school divisions – Kurzweil(TextHelp, 2015). Google Docs is another online tool school divisions are using to assist students within the classroom. The online word processor lets students create and format text documents and collaborate with other classmates or their teachers in real time in the classroom or from home. This excellent tool helps students stay connected and organized when completing assignments Google Docs also easily allows teachers to provide feedback and guidance while students work on assignments.
In addition when looking at Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education, she highlights that access to education online has increased access to schooling for more than just what was traditionally been an opportunity and privilege for society’s elite. Using online education provides access to what is similar to a real world classroom experience. When students are accessing materials online it shows more engagement and motivation as students can work at their own pace, they have access to flexible work times and education this way can spark creativity and support lifelong learning – which is our goal! All in all, as teachers when we are using technology that supports and enhances learning in a meaningful way, I think our students will benefit much more and gain more insight and opportunities.