Digital Equity: Exploring this Modern Civil Right
One in four Americans do not have access to the Internet in their homes. About 12 million people who can’t get online live in rural areas, and another 50 million people without access live in urban areas. This first episode of the Upskill with Edtech podcast explores how digital tools can be used to accelerate innovation in teaching in learning to support career advancement and life-long learning for workers and job seekers. The 26-minute episode highlights the problem of digital inequity and how it affects lives. The podcast suggests solutions for closing the digital divide – the disconnect between those with access to technology and those who don’t. Interviews with students and administrators highlight the challenges experienced in a rural Native American community in New Mexico, cities like Chicago, and correctional facilities.
Most educators agree that students must have some computer skills to participate in the modern world, but their knowledge of the skills needed and how to teach them is limited. This podcast increases teachers’ awareness of the problem of the digital divide and highlights some of the programs that are trying to reduce it.
It is particularly valuable from the perspective of advocacy for increasing digital inclusion so that those who are currently on the “downside” of the digital divide are able to achieve digital equity. It is not a theory-to-practice tool as such, but it can give adult educators good insights into both the value of educational technology and the need for expanding its availability to ensure equal access for all.
The only drawback to the series is the lack of a text copy. Finding people and organizations who tell their stories, and suggest solutions is difficult with no written resource containing names and websites.