Inner city schools across the United States have become focused on improving their internal school structures to allow all students to receive a high-quality education. While is difficult to define what a high-quality education should look like for students today, ensuring that the appropriate learning resources are available to students is very important. In a recent study, education researchers wanted to see if donating computers to low-performing public schools would increase positive learning outcomes for students coming from low-income families. The research study found that “free computers don’t close the rich-poor education gap” in public school systems.
The current education reform movement in the United States is focused primarily on improving public schools and learning outcomes for students. Before reading this research study, I disagreed with the idea that providing computers to students would not close the rich-poor education gap and does not promote education equity. I feel that decisions to integrate technology in the classroom are made too quickly and discourages education professionals from implementing technological standards with state learning objectives. It’s just too easy and the learning process becomes interrupted.
The results and findings of the study surprised me but my initial reaction and response to the study quickly changed. It made sense to me that when students were give access to a computer either in school or at home, students used the computer for things other than educational reasons. This presents education professionals with a bigger issue – how and who is responsible for teaching students computer literacy for the sole purpose of increasing educational outcomes? Students who have unlimited access to information and various social media platforms, who may not have been properly taught how to use each, are at a higher risk from achieving academic success.
Personally, I feel that schools who are focused on integrating technology in the classroom must be transparent with teachers, parents, and students. Stating the reasons and goals for computer use in the classroom and at home should be understood by all school parties. Implementation of technology in the classroom is a school-wide approach that has the capacity to increase positive learning outcomes for students.