First world and third world
I wanted to bring this up on the blog before I forgot about it – the distinction between the issues of the first world and of the third world was kind of problematic from my viewpoint as the technology teacher. She teaches at a school which received a donation of a computer lab, but still doesn’t have a budget for paper. A lot of the students live far under the poverty line, and this unfortunately isn’t uncommon in public city schools in the US. Yes, it’s the first world, but a lot of the students I worked with at this school and others through education classes wouldn’t have lunch if the school didn’t provide it. In the summer, they just don’t get it.
For them, access to technology goes beyond gender differences and gender rights. The people they are expected to compete with, in other schools, get to learn with an adequate number of books and teachers, and maybe even Smartboards. While the particular school I was talking about does an amazing job with what they have, I think technology is somewhat repressive in this case, when certain types of students are denied access to knowledge related to technology that students at other school are as used to as breathing. In education, technology is interwoven with dynamics of priviledge and who gets to learn what. Knowledge of technology grants access to certain parts of society, which can be wonderfully empowering, but at the same time a lack of knowledge excludes vast chunks of people. This whole idea has been troubling me lately, but I think I have to do some more thinking.