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K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

We do end up using up school

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We do end up using up school time for things that kids in higher income households do at home. Still, I think it's vital that our lower income kids get the experience and the skills of their higher income peers.

I have many students who

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I have many students who don't have internet access at their homes and some of those students don't have cell phones with internet access either. This creates a problem if I want them the access the internet to do research for the next day at school. I end up taking time away from other areas of the lesson plan to make sure all students have the same time to work on computer projects.

K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

Sometimes that technological

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Sometimes that technological equity boils down to even their parents' ability to compete for jobs and other resources that their non-Hispanic counterparts have access to. If the parents lack resources, it definitely has an adverse effect on their children.

2nd Grade Bilingual Teacher in Texas

"51 percent of Hispanics,

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"51 percent of Hispanics, used their phones to access the Internet"
In my class of 19 Hispanic students, where 100% are on reduced-fee or free lunch, the digital divide is evident. When I recently asked how many had Internet access, only 3 raised their hands... How can they get up to par technologically with their non-Hispanic peers, if they don't have use/access to the resources at home?

K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

re: Infrastructure or hardware?

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Very true. What do you think about a mobile Internet library like the old 'bookmobiles?'

Life Skills Support Teacher

Quote: I wonder what your

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I wonder what your thoughts are on access to the Internet being a basic human right in this country?

This is why liberals represent the anti-thesis to practical common sense, because they fail to realize that an activist court that would support such a notion wouldn't just stop there. If I was to think hypothetically that cable TV access was also a basic "human right," then were do the absurd wants end?

As I've said many times before to people with their heads in the sand, this is indicative of the sick and overly entitled societal mindset that believes that "wants" are actually "needs" which must be legally ensured and protected.

Meanwhile, complete global economic collapse is imminent and too many of my fellow education professionals are more concerned with getting the new iFad.

The reason why the education system is "broken" is because of the so-called "leadership" who play with toys and social media all day and night and fail to act like true adults who have little time for such nonsense. Getting back to the basics and simple hard work, combined with proper doses of traditional discipline as needed, represents much of what kids should have in school. This generation and all that follow are also going to have to upgrade their basic survival skills which will mainly require cunning and a strong will, not the "skills" of twiddling their thumbs over a keyboard or telling the world at what restaurant they're eating dinner tonight.

Life Skills Support Teacher

Quote: I do think access to

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I do think access to high speed internet IS a basic human right.

Can you please cite any part of the U.S. Constitution that would support that contention?

Infrastructure or hardware?

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Reality? The cost of purchasing ~300 netbooks for our 7th through 12th graders is a drop in the bucket of what providing high speed internet access to those students would be. Our district is roughly the size of the state of Rhode Island, isolated, rural, with a fair number of students with no electricity or running water. No internet provider is willing to spend the money it would take to provide access to all this area for the small amount of revenue they would receive even if every family were to access their services.

I do think access to high speed internet IS a basic human right. Like your original article said, having cell phone access is different from 'real' access. And even cell phone access is limited here. (I live 8 miles from school and do not have reliable cell phone coverage at my house.) Students who do not have access are left behind before they even begin. They are not only left out of the educational possibilities and opportunities afforded those with internet, they are also left out of the social aspects of the internet which are critical in today's world.

Until we find a way to bridge this divide, students such as mine, will continue to fall further and further behind their more 'endowed' counterparts in other districts.

Education writer, Founder & co-editor of MiddleWeb.com

Stimulus dollars

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Much has been made about the use and misuse of stimulus dollars, but they're having a large impact in my rural Appalachian county, where the local cable company is running fiber to something like 97% of homes in the next 18 months. It's quite an undertaking in this area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I'm fortunate to live in the woods and have DSL service via AT&T but it's an expensive add-on. The stimulus project will definitely narrow the divide some in our area.

K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

Re: Rural accessibility

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I can't agree with you more, Cossondra. Geography does play a huge role in your educational opportunities, even in urban locales. It seems a bit crazy for a district to spend so much money on hardware, grant or no grant, without investing in infrastructure! I wonder what your thoughts are on access to the Internet being a basic human right in this country?

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