The Digital Divide: Resource Roundup
The "digital divide" is still a critical issue in education and beyond. Here's a roundup of resources and organizations to help educators understand the changing landscape and find information about supporting all learners to develop digital and media literacy. (Updated 1/2014)
Resources by Topic:
- Digital Access and Equity
- Supporting All Digital Learners
- International Comparisons
- Other Resources from Edutopia
- Articles from the Vault
- Additional Resources on the Web
Digital Access and Equity
- How Teachers Use Technology: The Latest Research, by Mary Beth Hertz (2013)
Edutopia blogger Hertz considers the implications of a new study by Pew Research about how teachers are using technology at home and in their classrooms, and what it can tell us about the digital divide.
- Bridging the New Digital Divide, by Lori Day (2013)
Educational psychologist and consultant Day suggests that the new digital divide is more about the speed of tech upgrades than the gap between tech haves and have-nots.
- Celebrating Access to Information, by Anne O'Brien (2012)
On Johann Gutenberg's birthday, blogger O'Brien highlights the unprecedented access to information available in our world today and issues related to equalizing access.
- Beyond the Teachers’ Lounge: The Emerging Connection Gap, by Mary Beth Hertz (2012)
Blogger Hertz reflects on the growing digital divide between the educators who are tapped into the global community and the educators who are not.
- A Principal’s Perspective: Preparing to Distribute Student iPads? by Ben Johnson (2012)
Principal Johnson shares how his school district moved forward to roll out iPads to their entire student body, the strategies they used, and offers up answers to some important questions.
- Crossing the Digital Divide: Bridges and Barriers to Digital Inclusion, by Sara Bernard (2011)
Now that we’ve reached the second decade of the new millennium, how is digital access changing, and what are the implications for schools?
- A New Understanding of the Digital Divide, by Mary Beth Hertz (2011)
Blogger and elementary school computer teacher Hertz discusses a new perspective on the digital divide -- not just access but "kind of access."
- Should We Be Concerned About an App Gap? by Audrey Watters (2011)
There is a growing disparity between those who have used apps on mobile devices and those who have not, writes Watters, but what is the real impact?
- National Educational Technology Plan: Your Questions Answered, by Audrey Watters (2011)
“An Internet-enabled device for every teacher and student in the country. Universal broadband access for homes and schools.” Blogger Watters demystifies these and other recommendations from the National Educational Technology Plan and the U.S. Department of Education.
Supporting All Digital Learners
- Big Thinkers: Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture and Media Education (2013)
University of Southern California media scholar Henry Jenkins describes how educators might fuel civic engagement by tapping the skills their students build in interest-driven online communities.
- Big Thinkers: Nichole Pinkard on Digital Literacy (2013)
The founder of Chicago's pioneering Digital Youth Network (DYN) describes how the organization empowers young people with critical digital literacy skills that make them academically and professionally competitive.
- Should Coding be the “New Foreign Language” Requirement? by Anna Adam, Helen Mowers (2013)
Digital learning specialists Adam and Mowers explain how the ability to code is becoming the most in-demand global resource for the 21st century and why coding should become the new foreign language requirement in our schools.
- Teaching Toddlers to Tweet? Introducing Social Media to Elementary Students, by Beth Holland (2013)
Holland, communication coordinator and instructor at EdTech Teacher, gives three age-appropriate examples of introducing social media to children in the lower elementary grades.
- Don’t Forget Professional Development for Students, by Nicholas Provenzano (2012)
Edutopia blogger Provenzano points out that not every student is a tech wizard and offers three tips on Student Professional Development that can bring everyone up to speed.
- Teachers and Tech Use: It’s Time! by Heather Wolpert-Gawron (2012)
Blogger Wolpert-Gawron explains the importance and necessity for technology use in all classrooms.
- Digital Native vs Digital Citizen? Examining a Dangerous Stereotype, by Mary Beth Hertz (2012)
Hertz invites us to look at our assumptions that all kids are born tech-savvy and encourages us to think more globally about how we can teach them to thrive as citizens in a digital world.
- Using Blogs to Engage English Language Learners, by Jon Schwartz (2011)
A fourth-grade teacher uses blogging to help close the digital divide in his classroom in Oceanside, California.
- Digital Literacy is the Bedrock for Lifelong Learning, by Vanessa Vega (2011)
Bridging the digital divide means more than just access to devices, it includes digital literacy, which ensures informed citizens and the birth of new ideas.
- Why Media Literacy is Not Just for Kids, by Suzie Boss (2011)
Blogger and education journalist Boss proposes that media and digital literacy is not just for students, but essential for all citizens nationwide.
- In India, a School that Empowers Students and Teachers, by Suzie Boss (2013)
What happens when students and teachers are immersed in an environment that encourages innovation and risk-taking?
- The Hole in the Wall Project and the Power of Self-Organized Learning, by Sugata Mitra (2012)
Sugata Mitra's Hole in the Wall experiments, conducted in New Delhi and in other communities in India, showed that children could teach themselves, and each other, how to use technology.
- International Comparisons in Digital Literacy: What Can We Learn? by Anne O'Brien (2012)
O'Brien discusses the data from PISA, a worldwide evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance, and implications from the overview of performance in digital reading, navigation and computer use.
Other Resources from Edutopia
- Technology Integration in Education
Explore Edutopia's coverage on technology integration, including our review of the research on how to successfully use technology in the classroom.
- Technology Tools Community Group
Edutopia's community is a great source for additional resources and inspiration related to meaningful technology integration in schools.
- Mobile Devices for Learning, How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School, and Top Ten Tips for Teaching with New Media
Edutopia's classroom guides include useful information about bridging the digital divide, considerations for technology integration, and resources for teaching digital and media literacy.
- Digital Citizenship, Assistive Technology, Mobile Learning, and Social Media
Browse the articles, blogs, and resources within these resource compilations for more information about digital citizenship (including digital and media literacy), assistive technology, mobile technology, and social media tools.
- Digital Citizenship and Students Like Tech! on Pinterest
Visit Edutopia's pinterest boards on digital citizenship and classroom technology for useful resources and ideas on integrating technology and teaching digital and media literacy.
Articles from the Vault
Edutopia's early coverage provides a snapshot of the roots of the digital divide discussion.
- The Digital Divide: Where We Are, by Norris Dickard and Diana Schneider (2002)
In 2002, "digital divide" was a big buzzword in the news and in politics. Here's an article from the archives about the state of affairs at the time.
- Reports on the Digital Divide: Are We Truly Making Progress? (2002)
A round-up of research and publications on the digital divide from 2002.
- Digital Divide: Next Steps for Schools (2000)
An interview about actions that can be taken to address the digital divide, with the director of the PBS series Digital Divide.
- Mending the Breach: Overcoming the Digital Divide, by Andy Carvin (2000)
The first comprehensive Edutopia.org article about the digital divide takes a closer look at what it is and who it affects most.
Do you know of other useful resources, or are there other types of resources you'd like to see included on this page? Please share your feedback in the comments.