Thursday, April 21, 2005

Re: "I hang out here, where I know it's safe"

In the Bishop article, I think it becomes somewhat clear what obstacles exist that make divide issues, digital and otherwise, really hard to overcome.

Where I worked in inner city Houston, the Quitman Branch of the Houston Public Library was one of the SAFER places to hang out, especially for some of my students who lived in the housing project a third of mile away. Really there were no safe havens, but school and the library were better than most.

We were a little behind in 1998, the last year I worked there, with integrating the Web into the curriculm. We actually had no library at the high school, so we used the public library as a poor substitute. The best thing about the place, naturally, was the staff. They were very helpful. I don't recall using the computers a lot there at the time, but I do recall some limited searching with students.

These days, I would guess that among many families in the neighborhood who do not even own a car, there is probably very little PC ownership. What there is is probably more like the unreliable, outdated examples that Bishop raised.

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