Friday, December 11, 2015

How Can We Help Close the Digital Use Divide?

Recently the United States Office of Educational Technology published the National Education Technology Plan.  You can view the entire plan at

There is certainly many topics to ponder from reading this plan.  One that really struck me today was about the new digital divide.

..the disparity between students who use technology to create, design, build, explore, and collaborate and those who simply use technology to consume media passively

Though there is still much to be done to provide connectivity and devices in schools and communities, a more important challenge is to close the digital use divide.  Too often those students that have adequate connectivity and digital devices are merely consuming media such as through Youtube, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, and the such.  Students need some time for entertainment but how can we help them find a balance between being entertained and being creative, productive, life-long learners?  How can we move them from simply being passive to active in their use of learning with technology?

Here are the examples of active use from the report.  I've included some tools that come to mind that might help you in this endeavor with students.

  1. Coding
  2. Immersive Simulation
  3. Media Production
  4. Interaction with Experts
  5. Global Connections
  6. Design
  7. Peer Collaboration

What do you think?  How can we help students become active learners while taking advantage of the powerful tools that are available?

Learn more by visiting the section named Closing the Digital Use Divide from the National Educational Technology Plan.