This project was a very good learning experience for me. The school I chose to survey is a virtual school. Since it is a virtual school, it is dependent on technology. The survey process helped me understand what procedures are used in the technology decision making process.
I started by using the Maturity Model Benchmarks to formulate questions that I would use in interviews and teacher surveys. I enjoyed interviewing a school board member, principal, and vice principal. I learned a lot about how and why decisions are made about the technology for the school. Even though each interviewee had their own perspectives, they all had a clear vision of where the school is technologically and where it is going in the future.
The surveys completed by the teachers helped me understand their perspective about technology used for online teaching. They use technology to communicate, conduct synchronous lessons, monitor progress, access grade books, grade student work, and provide interventions. At times, it can seem overwhelming especially the first year being an online teacher in a K-12 school.
I used the information I gathered in the interviews and the surveys and used them to rank the schools technology use using the Maturity Model Benchmarks.
Digital divide refers the gap between people who have access to technology and those who do not. As this gap closes, digital inequality becomes a bigger issue. Digital inequality refers to factors that relate to technology use. There are many people that have out of date technology and software, inadequate internet speed, or the lack of skills needed to use the technology effectively. In our society today, we use the internet to apply for jobs, apply for benefits, and network with others. Digital inequality is something I did not think about until this project. This assignment helped me realize the need of digital equality. Little things I take for granted such as my computer, internet connection, and smart phone are tools I use daily that many people are not familiar with.
The digital inequality assignment was a group project. It was nice to work with others on this project. We had people from all over the world working together. For this project, we needed to provide the State Superintendent of Public Education information on seven different options to address digital inequality in the state. We chose to use the state of Arizona for our project since it has a diverse population. I live in Arizona and did not know that recently, Arizona Public Computer Centers project spent approximately $1,600,000 to increase the number of computers in Arizona public libraries. This project brought more than 1,000 computers to the public libraries in Arizona. This program was designed to help citizens that have no access to computers or the internet.
For this assignment, we used Google slides to create our presentation. This is a great way to collaborate on slides with others. You can see what changes have been made by each team member and you can send an email to the group from the presentation.