Equity and Access – Technology in Schools

“However, in the same conversations, while rejecting generalizations about gender in the abstract, girls reveal a highly developed set of beliefs about how boys and girls differ in relationships to computer technology. In other words, we found that girls observe and describe strong gender differences but do not have a language with which to talk about them. ”

Are there gender inequities in the field of computer technology? I think there is a general perception that women use computers but are not as involved in the processes and systems that create or control computers. Girls are dissuaded from learning about computer technology for many reasons, which is why we are seeing the rise in programs that target girls in the STEM fields, such as Girls Who Code. Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization with an objective to “close the gender gap in technology.” According to the website, “While interest in computer science ebbs over time, the biggest drop off happens between the ages of 13 – 17.” Gender gap in computing has actually been getting worse since the 1980s.”

There would also seem to be a correlation between technology access in schools and race/income. “Addressing these various forms of digital divides is a pressing issue for teachers. Of the teachers surveyed, 84 percent agree with this statement: “Today’s digital technologies are leading to greater disparities between affluent and disadvantaged schools and school districts.” I think upon deeper examination, one might find that the ways in which technology is used in affluent and disadvantaged schools is different.

The readings really focused on the inequities in technology access in schools. Certainly, the video and reading regarding how assistive technology can be help students with challenges effectively participate in the classroom. While it would seem that technology access has improved for all students, it would seem as though inequities still exist along racial/income and gender lines.

 

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