Lack of Technology in Urban Schools

Lack of Technology in Urban Schools

Tamika Washington (Future School Teacher, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 3
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-492-5.ch006


Many times in urban schools, computers and learning software are either at a shortage or simply do not exist. In schools like that, the ratio of students to computers can be as high as 20 to one. This case study compares the learning technology resources and opportunities accessible to William and Terrance, two cousins who attended 4th grade in two different school districts.
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The Case

William and Terrance were both in the 4th grade and are cousins. While William attended a school located in the middle-class suburb, Terrance attended Reagan Elementary, an inner-city public school in the same metropolitan area. William’s school had a large amount of available computers and students were taken to computer lab four times a week. On the other hand, Terrance’s school only had a handful of working computers that were shared between 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders and only had computer lab time once a week. During William’s lab time the students were exposed to many different computer applications, computer vocabulary, and different computer software programs to enhance their learning experience. During Terrance’s computer class, the students were rushed through assignments. Terrance had to take turns with other classmates when doing hands-on assignments and did not get the full effect of putting into action what he had learned. To make matters even more challenging, Terrance did not have a computer at home.

However, his cousin William did have a computer at home. Because William had access to a computer at home, he benefited by being able to become more familiar with computers outside of school. Although Terrance was a bright child, his mother was disappointed to find during visits that William was a lot more comfortable with the computer than Terrance was and realized that this could be a serious problem for Terrance in the future. She was very concerned about the quality of education her son was receiving at the school he attended and knew that the problem needed to be addressed.

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