Reaching ALL students with eGames
I thought we (by "we" I mean the collection of educators and schools nationwide) were doing fairly well. We seemed to have gotten over the hurdle of computers in the classrooms. It even seemed like more and more students had computers, and Internet access, in their homes as well. My middle school, which has a hugely diverse population, both ethnically and socio-economically, has two computer labs of 36 stations each, plus four laptop carts of 16 computers each, plus 1-5 computers in many classrooms. Then I took a position at the district office and quickly found out that my middle school is the only one of the 22 schools in the district with computers resources to that degree. I lucked out when I landed at the one school in the district that has been making technology a priority for over ten years. None of the other three middle schools have computers labs, only laptop carts and only two of those. None of the elementary schools have computers labs, some don't even have a laptop cart.
So, that's my small district, what about San Diego Unified School District? According to the EdTech Profile for 2006-2207, SDUSD:
- Has about 1 computer for every 4 students.
- Over 50% of the computers are over 4 years old.
- The number of computers planned to be retired outnumbers the number of computers expected to be added this year.
- 65% of the computers are located in the classroom as opposed to 15% in computer labs, and 15% in libraries. I wonder how many of the computers in the classrooms are collecting dust.
- Of the 160 seventh and eighth grade students I had last year, 17% of them did not have access to a computer or the Internet at home. Sounds pretty good, right? Well...
- Of those students without access, 81% of them are Hispanic, yet only 44% of our school student body is Hispanic.
- Of those students without access, over half are on the free/reduced lunch program, indicating a low socio-economic status.
- Of the five black students that I had last year, three of them did not have access to a computer or the Internet at home.
Here are a couple of articles:
"Digital Divide" affects student success
Digital divide in schools: Student access to and use of computers