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Nancy Parker
Educational Consultant

Universal Technology in Education

Is it possible to achieve "Universal Technology in Education" with the disparity of resources in institutions of learning. Most large schools in wealthy areas have a wealth of hardware, software, and resources while the small rural schools, private schools, charter schools and home school students often do not have access to even the basic technology tools and resources.

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Joy May

Posted on 12/12/16 2:20:59 AM Permalink

​I think Mark hit the nail on the head. We probably won't ever achieve universally equitable technology, but we can encourage resourcefulness and creativity with what you have. Just because you don't have the latest and greatest doesn't mean that you can create some amazing things! Have you ever watched a kid play with a box? That box can be a pirate ship, a castle, a rocket, a plane. Sometimes having less inspires more...

Nancy Parker

Posted on 7/18/13 10:47:10 PM Permalink

Mark,

Thank you so much. Very well stated! I was, and still am, one of those people who had to work hard, save, and often struggle to get the technology and software that I wanted. It wasn't easy, but it really made me appreciate it. I believe that if there is a will there is a way and the stronger the will the more ways I can discover.

I also would love to see an "Equitable Technology in Education," model but I am not sure that we, as a society, would have the same vision of what that would look like. For now, it is good to express our desire to look for any positive direction and take part in the mission to make the most positive impact that we can.

Mark Runge

Posted on 7/17/13 1:36:13 PM Permalink

No, I don't think it is possible to achieve "Universal Technology in Education". I'm not even sure that it is necessary. I'm apprehensive about anything that is "universal." I'm not sure that a Waldorf school is concerned about such things. And, as you've indicated there will always be a disparity in wealth, which means less hardware, software, training, etc. Not to mention that some people just cannot and will not get past a certain level with technology.

Adobe has the best products out there. There are some who would argue for this software or that, but generally speaking Adobe is where it is at. Some of my kids' families, though, cannot afford Adobe, regardless of the deep discounts Adobe gives out. I have no problems saying use Gimp because it is free. Do these students loose out in some ways to the kids whose parents buy an Adobe Suite; yeah, I'd say so. But I've seen some magical learning take place in a kid's struggle to match the kids who have more or better.

The socialist in me would love for all of my kids, and all of the kids around the world, be on equal ground in a situation where quality and meaningful education are taking place. But the realist in my knows that this does not even happen in the Private Prep school where I teach.

I'd love to see and could support something like "Equitable Technology in Education."

Great topic that is near and dear to my heart; thank you for bringing it up.

Smiles to you.

Mark Runge

Posted on 7/17/13 1:31:14 PM Permalink

No, I don't think it is possible to achieve "Universal Technology in Education". I'm not even sure that it is necessary. I'm apprehensive about anything that is "universal." I'm not sure that a Waldorf school is concerned about such things. And, as you've indicated there will always be a disparity in wealth, which means more or less hardware, software, training, etc. Not to mention that some people just cannot and will not get past a certain level with technology.

Adobe has the best products out there. There are some who would argue for this software or that, but generally speaking Adobe is where it is at. Some of my kids' families, though, cannot afford Adobe, regardless of the deep discounts Adobe gives out. I have no problems saying use Gimp because it is free. Do these students loose out in some ways to the kids whose parents buy an Adobe Suite; yeah, I'd say so. But I've seen some magical learning take place in a kid's struggle to match the kids who have more or better.

The socialist in me would love for all of my kids, and all of the kids around the world, to be on equal ground in a situation where quality and meaningful education is taking place. But the realist in my knows that this does not even happen in the Private Prep school where I teach.

I'd love to see and could support something like "Equitable Technology in Education."

Great topic that is near and dear to my heart; thank you for bringing it up.

Smiles to you.