Digital Access

Assignment - (Student Learning and Academic Performance)

  • Equitable access for all students
  • Accommodations for students with special needs
  • Programs for increasing access outside schools
Aim: To create a 'c-book' on what it means to be a digital citizen in the 21st century.

This is what students have to deal with when they go to school. This is a simple way to explain how much computers and the internet are part of a college or high school students way of life in the 21st century.

1. Overview/Description of the various aspects of the topic.

Digital access is the equal ability for people in different countries and societies to access digital technology. People in all societies should have an equal right to access technology whether they are handicapped, are old or are young, are male or female, and no matter who they are and where they come from.

Only every fifth person in Africa has the possibility to access digital technology like a computer with internet and mobile phones. Some organizations try to provide third world countries with computers or digital technology like “One Laptop per Child non-profit association” to make poor people be able to access Internet as well.

2. Background of the topic including specific real examples.

Nicholas Negroponte is founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit association. He was aiming to help people in the third world countries that hardly have a chance to access digital technology. When one of the XO computers is bought, Negroponte (the company) immediately donates another laptop to a child in a third world country. The aim of this project is to provide every poor child in the world a tool to be able to think with.

The laptop allows children to gain knowledge and ways to express him/herself through images, words and sounds. It will also enhance the children's thinking capabilities and opportunities, so they are able to bridge the digital divide. The laptops are meant to serve as libraries, music studios, art galleries and most importantly communication devices so children can expand their knowledge through experimenting and collaborating.

These laptops will comprise of a hand-crank for power in spaces without dependable energy and a monitor with a black/white form that is clear in strong sunlight. Interior wireless tools will allow every notebook to communicate with other computers close by, forming local-area networks.

This is the XO laptop being used by children and classrooms in Galadima, Abuja, Nigeria.

3. Social / ethical aspects of the topic including how real people and communities have been positively or negatively affected and legal consequences.

The "digital divide" is the gap between people who have possibilities to access technology and those who do not. The ones who can reach modern technology have access to telephones, internet, television, mobiles and many others. The digital divide is very noticeable comparing people in cities and in rural areas.

The digital divide affects people in the third world countries the most, since they do not have access to technology. However, the use of mobile phones has increased a lot in these rural areas, allowing wireless communication between each other. Here is the link to a cartogram of the usage of internet throughout the world

As for children, even if the schools are better equipped than the past, the amount of learning taking place at home is huge, since children only spend 15% of their lives at school. So that means learning at home is extremely important to their future. Technology offers a great opportunity to extend learning support beyond the classroom.

• 2.5 million schoolchildren do not have access to the Internet at home
• High income families are 5 times more likely to own a home computer than low income families

People are also becoming addicted to the internet. Recent research data from china a says that 13.7% of Chinese teenagers meet the criteria for Internet Addiction. This is about 10 million people. China has such a serious problem that they have introduced internet addiction clinics to deal with the rapidly growing amount of internet addicts. The symptoms are listed here. The symptoms are both physical and mental. What most people online who think they are addicted are probably suffering from is the desire to not want to deal with other problems in their lives. Those problems may be a mental disorder (depression, anxiety, etc.), a serious health problem or disability, or a relationship problem. It is no different than turning on the TV so you won't have to talk to your spouse, or going "out with the boys" for a few drinks so you don't have to spend time at home. Nothing is different except the modality. What some very few people who spend time online without any other problems present may suffer from is compulsive over-use. Compulsive behaviors, however, are already covered by existing diagnostic categories and treatment would be similar. It's not the technology (whether it be the Internet, a book, the telephone, or the television) that is important or addicting -- it's the behavior. And behaviors are easily treatable by traditional cognitive-behavior techniques in psychotherapy.

Computers are also helping children with special needs learn things that they wouldn't be able to learn in a classroom environment. The technology enables the children to surpass their disability without the need for expensive, well trained teachers. It will also help teachers create a more friendly and less stressful atmosphere in the class.

4. Possible solutions to the problems that have emerged.

  • Making more girl friendly Internet and computer games.
  • Making yourselves and people of different ages aware of digital citizenship in order to help them access technology.
  • When making donations also consider the charities that try to bridge the 'digital divide'.

5. Guideline(s) or rule(s) for teenager(s).

  • Don't exclude anybody surrounding you from using digital technology.
  • Break the digital divide and help people from different ages to access digital technology.
  • Make sure that you don't spend too much time on digital technology.

Links to:

Action Qatar Academy
Action Vienna International School
Action Westwood