Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Although the data provided some very easy questions as to its worth (one of my peeves was that the table of computer use by occupation did not compare gender inside a single occupation, but by occupations prescribed as femine or masculine, which raises a lot of issues), I noticed I was getting way off base. So here are a few questions I am hoping will be more indicative of our focus:

1. I noticed we started focusing a lot on how the data are interpreted and how much we can really rely on the information being provided. Getting back to the question of digital divides, one has to wonder if it is as bad as some make it out to be. Teachters, although trying to incorporate technology into their curricula, don't have a real need for it (non-distance education). Many who do not have technologies such as computers probably share these feelings. Since these are self-made choices not to interact with new technology (as Valentine/Holloway/Bingham described as "technophobic"), is it bad that a divide exists (and is this the "difference" in digital divides and differences?)? Numbers we have looked at don't ask if people actively decided not to use technologies, should those people still be included in the count?

2. The first few chapters of "Teachers and Machines..." show the past "tech fads" seen in elementary school settings as coming then going. With computers, the technology seems more focused in higher levels of education, where the previous technologies did not seem effective. Will this effect is as being another fad? Is the computer destined to the fate of its tech brethren?

3. This week's assignments are all very focused on technology in the school to some degree. This appears to have a significant factor in computer technology. It bothers me, however, how much the government and administration seem to be pushing (what Valentine/Holloway/Bingham call "technologically determinist") computer use into the schools to connect them, while the teachers and students are really saying they don't want it (at least to the extent that I believe is being sought). How does one find the happy medium? How does the administration balance the need for these students to have this knowledge, keep teachers informed, make their school appealing to families by having access to computers, and keep it all in budget? Although many schools seem to be finding "happy spots," it always seems that not everyone is happy. Is there a balance?

::The kingdom of God is within you and all around you.
It is not within buildings of wood or stone.
Split a piece of wood and you will find me.
Look beneath a stone and I am there. ::

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