Technology Integration Practices within a Socioeconomic Context: Implications for Educational Disparities and Teacher Preparation

Technology Integration Practices within a Socioeconomic Context: Implications for Educational Disparities and Teacher Preparation

Holim Song (Texas Southern University, USA), Emiel Owens (Texas Southern University, USA) and Terry T. Kidd (University of Texas School of Public Health, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-238-1.ch012
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With the call for curricular and instructional reform, educational institutions have embarked on the process to reform their educational practices to aid the lower SES student in their quest to obtain quality education with the integration of technology. The study performed was to examine the socioeconomic disparities of teachers’ technology integration in the classroom as it relates to implementing technology interventions to support quality teaching and active student learning. This chapter provides empirical evidence of whether these disparities continue to exist, and their effects on student achievement in the classroom.
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Sources Of Socioeconomic Disparities

Research studies have been devoted to socioeconomic disparity in technology integration and use in education (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2005; U.S. Department of Education, 2005). Becker (2001) found that students from higher income families have been found to use computers in school and in their homes more frequently than students from lower SES families. Students of color from urban schools have also been found to have less access to computers compared to Anglo-suburban students (National Telecommunication and Information Administration, 2006). More recently, lower SES schools are only half as likely to have high speed internet compared to high SES schools (Roblyer, 2006). Consistent with this idea of access are the issues within the digital divide itself. Despite the constraints on school funding in most states, schools have devoted an increasing percentage of their annual budgets to technology. The majority of the efforts of the educational community over the past decade to acquire hardware, software, and Internet access have been successful (Dividing Lines, 2001). However, clear evidence of a digital divide, parallel to historical disparities, continues to distinguish urban schools from their affluent counterparts (Chen & Thielemann, 2001; Guttentag & Eilers, 2004; National Center for Education Statistics, 2004). Historical measures of digital equity have been based on the ratio of the number of computers divided by the number of students. A more recent measure involves determining levels of Internet access. Another dimension of this problem relates to questions about differences in home access to technology, therefore impacting urban student achievement.

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