The face of education is changing as technology is rapidly being integrated to redefine the way that teachers teach and students learn. But along with all the benefits that technology brings, we must remember that access to technology is not universal; there is a significant gap between the “haves and the have nots” not only in terms of being able to get onto the internet, but also in how quickly, easily, and skillfully information on the internet can be accessed. These gaps are known as the digital divide and digital inequality, respectively. It’s encouraging to read statistics like those found in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)’s report, The World in 2014: ICT Facts and Figures that shows that the number of people with access to the internet and who use the internet are increasing. Currently, almost 3 billion people worldwide are using the internet, and that number should continue to increase. But still, that’s only 40% of the world’s population so we as educators who use technology must be ever-mindful of the inequalities and the divide amongst the students in our own classes and the members of our own communities so that we can do our best to serve everyone.
I enjoyed reading the statistics, as this was all new material for me. I also really enjoyed learning more about how digital divide differs from digital inequality. It gave me a lot to think about and relate to my current teaching situation and the parents and students with whom I interact. I’m a member of our district technology committee and I think that this is an important topic to discuss; I’ll surely be bringing it up soon.
I used Haiku Deck to create a presentation on this topic and how it’s being seen in my own school district which can be found HERE. Using some of the multimedia principles I learned from reading Presentation Zen, I focused on keeping my slides free from clutter, using simple images and clean text to highlight the main ideas of each slide rather than trying to list out all of the detailed information for that section. There are speakers notes for each slide that include the detailed explanations. It was an interesting approach to presentation creation – generally speaking, most of the information covered verbally during a presentation appears on a slide. I really liked changing the way I think about preparing a presentation so that the slides accompany the speaking points rather than carry all of the information themselves. If I think about myself as an audience member, I would much rather listen to an interesting presentation with accompanying slides than feel the need to read all the information off the slides while the speaker also reads it to me. I only wish I’d read Presentation Zen sooner!
If I had more time and freedom, I think I might have been able to improve this presentation by not using Haiku Deck. While I like the overall idea of Haiku Deck, I found the text editing capabilities extremely limiting. For instance, I wanted to create references in small font on the bottom of slides where work should be cited, but was unable to. I wanted more freedom to align text, change size/style, etc. I also would have liked to have been able to move images around so that they didn’t fill up the entire background. It could have added more variety to the slide designs.
You can find the link to the public view of my presentation HERE
The PDF with speaker notes can be accessed here: The Digital Divide.