Urban Education Technological Disparities: The Debilitating Impact on Our Students for Twenty-First Century Employment

Urban Education Technological Disparities: The Debilitating Impact on Our Students for Twenty-First Century Employment

Angelia K. Swinton (Texas A&M University, USA) and Lauren Ashley Williams (Texas A&M University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4111-0.ch003
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Technological advancements of the twenty-first century have yielded a greater need for systematic aptitude and preparedness for the current U.S. and global workforce. To meet the needs of the twenty-first century workforce requires teachers to alter the manner in which they teach because student needs call for a new type of learning. The twenty-first century teacher has to assist students develop their technological identities for a new culture of learning shaped by technological advances and globalization. This new culture of learning is less teacher focused and more student centered. As more employers demand graduates who have the requisite twenty-first century skills, higher education must also continue to develop students who are problem solvers, effective communicators, critical thinkers, and effective collaborators. This chapter focuses upon the existing digital divide in historically marginalized communities.
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While advancements in technology have dramatically shifted the ways in which we navigate our day-to-day existence, these advancements remain inconsistently reflected in our Pre-K–12 educational institutions. There are unique factors shaping our country’s urban centers that particularly contribute to the ways in which technology plays a role in city schools. The authors find that technology is in fact underutilized in the Pre K–12 student populations. While teachers and students of color suffer disproportionately from equal and quality access to educational technology, teachers of color in these urban school contexts are twice as likely to possess inadequate technology and information literacy training, skills, and knowledge to work with technology in a classroom context that would benefit students of color in these environments (Owen, Song, & Kidd, 2007; Champion, 2017). There is a systemic discrepancy that persists between expectations for the effective integration of technology within the classroom and the teacher training provided. This further exacerbates the under-utilization or misuse of technology, since teachers’ capacities are underdeveloped to effectively integrate technology.

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