- On Friday, July 6, Hybrid Pedagogy hosted a discussion on Twitter focused on the idea of the digital divide. We set out to determine if this divide is real, in what ways it's real, and how it might be related to other "divides" (e.g., social, economic, etc.). Into the heart of our discussion fell two key factors: access and relevance; that is, access to technology and information, and the relevance of that technology and information to our students. The discussion was inspired, in part, by Lee Skallerup Bassette's article "It's About Class: Interrogating the Digital Divide" which raised clear questions about not only how to bridge the digital divide, but also whether it's appropriate to try.But before getting into the meat of the discussion, we had to set some parameters:
- Before long, we realized we couldn't limit the idea of a digital divide to the availability of technology. Technology as a tool needs users who have more skills than just knowing how to use the tool. Behind the use, there are competencies that need addressing; and the divide may lie along lines marked out by these competencies.
- What is the relationship between divides of cognition, literacy, creativity, critical thinking skills, access... and the digital divide?
- As we continued, we realized -- by inspecting the various divides and their interrelationships -- that it's nearly impossible to nail down just one place where a clear division is obvious. But if the divide is located almost everywhere, where do we begin our search for understanding, or a fix? We settled around the idea of access to technology, the hardware, software, bandwidth, and more.
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