Computer Access: Is the glass half empty or half full?

Via this week’s NCTE Inbox email comes this article, “And access for all: Schools try to connect unplugged students with the Internet” in South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel. Here’s one passage:

In an age of instant messaging, iPods, and Web journals, about 3 million teenagers nationwide — 13 percent — remain unplugged, according to a 2005 report released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on Teens and Technology.

That 13 percent (on average– I’m sure that number is higher in some school districts, lower in others) of secondary school students don’t have regular access to computers strikes me as a glass “half -full,” especially when one considers relatively recent history. But I would agree it’s still a problem that access is not universal.

But the article also makes some other problematic claims about technology. At one point in it, a Miami school official describes technology as the “great equalizer.” Well, I dunno about that. I have plenty of students and colleagues who have fine computer access but less than stellar computer literacy….

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