Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Digital Divide

Did you read this report from the BBC yesterday?


The article refers to the recent British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) report that found that there was a big correlation between those schools with poor use of ICT in the classroom and the UK's broadband 'not spots' as identified by Ofcom. The article stuck a chord with myself as I'm finding internet connectivity is still a problem in most of the schools I visit. I was recently delivering an twilight meeting with staff at a school, demonstrating a web based system for pupils and teachers. A maximum of 12 people in an ICT suite, 'hard wired' into the school network (not WiFi) and still many of the pages were taking an age to load or not loading at all. What hope has this particular school got in the short term in driving ICT forward? 'Cloud computing'? No where near it. Forget mobile devices around the school when they still have 12 PCs struggling to load a web page. 
"In today's digital society, classroom connectivity to an online world of knowledge and resources should be a right for every student in their place of learning and not a lottery.
If a teacher standing at the front of the class knows that they have unreliable wi-fi they are less likely to use internet-connected resources and devices."
Caroline Wright (director, BESA)