BRIDGING THE DIVIDE
Overcoming challenges of the digital divide
Gone are the days of lecturing from a textbook. Chalkboards were replaced by Smartboards. There are online textbooks. How are teachers supposed to keep up? While it is easy to feel like technology is making teachers obsolete, Kecia Ray, President of K20Connect, argues that they will not be replaced, but rather enhanced by technology. “Teachers who understand the benefits of using digital tools and use them to help engage certain students will succeed.” But those who refuse to embrace technology may be left behind.
Budget — While STEAM is a hot topic for funding, the sheer cost of technology, especially with constant updates, is difficult to keep up with.
Safety — Both physical and virtual safety are top of mind for schools. Science labs have costly physical safety requirements, and school networks need cybersecurity measures.
Attracting talent — Many talented professionals are deterred from teaching because they can earn more money elsewhere, and school budgets cannot measure up.
Old dog, new tech — Technology is continually changing and some teachers cannot keep up.
Loss of literacy skills — Reading skills come from learning to speak, and kids are looking at screens instead of engaging with each other.