Digital/Divide/Digital Inequality

Digital Divide/Digital Inequality

Our group decided to focus our presentation on the Digital Divide in Idaho.  We met several times over the past couple of weeks mostly using Google Hangouts in video chats.  Besides a few minor technological hangups, we figured it out and it allowed us to meet “face-to-face” to discuss our game plan for our presentation.  From there, we got started right away.  We each researched different solutions and statistics and began by creating a script for narration as well as the text that would be on each slide.  Once that was completed, we transferred the text to the slides on our Prezi.  None of the group members had used Prezi before, so it took more time than planned to get used to it.  We created each slide and began to record our narration for each slide.  Personally, that proved to be more difficult than expected.  I found that since I was trying not to make any speaking mistakes I seemed to make more than usual.  It took several tries for me to be satisfied with each recording.  The recording device that I used wasn’t compatible with Prezi, but one of the group members was able to transfer it to a file that worked.  We put finishing touches on each slide, adding images, trying to take out words so it wasn’t too wordy and checking for any errors.  It was a great feeling to get it finalized and turned in.

I think the most challenging part of following the suggested multimedia principles were we didn’t really know what it would all look like until the end.  We each read about the principles and tried to keep those in mind.  When everything was into our Prezi, we started second guessing ourselves as to whether we should add more images to make sure it wasn’t to visually bland.  We also did not want to overdo it.  We wanted to make sure it wasn’t too wordy, but didn’t want to leave out any key words.  It was a challenge.  I learned that even though some suggested multimedia principles were black and white, others seemed to be more in the gray area.

I learned a lot about the Digital Divide through this presentation and research.  I knew it existed and I also knew that Idaho was behind.  I also learned that Idaho is not as well off as I had previously thought in regard to the Digital Divide.  The access to high-speed Internet ranks Idaho 47th in the nation.  Only 54% of Idahoans having access to 25 mbps or higher broadband service.  In this digital age, that puts Idaho students and residents at a disadvantage in many areas.  Idaho has a long way to go and improving infrastructures and access is the only way to start bridging the gap.

As a teacher in Idaho, I feel that the Digital Divide is a real problem.  It really hits home.  Here is a little snapshot of the building that I work in.  As of the end of the school year (May 2016), we still only had wifi access in part of our building.  In order to access it, you had to go to a certain classroom, which wasn’t ideal.  The district is working on improving that.  This upcoming school year, that is supposed to be fixed.  The goal is to have wifi throughout our building.  We just recently got Kindles to use in our classroom.  Due to the wifi access, if we wanted to download an app, we had to take the Kindles home, download the app that we wanted and then bring them back to school to use.  Again, not ideal and definitely not efficient.  To add to that, we only have sixteen Kindles total for four First Grade teachers.  The Digital Divide is real and present.  I am going to use the knowledge that I have gained through this project, to push for more access to technology in my school.  We obviously are behind.  If I can make an improvement, even if it’s a small one, then I will be making an impact on improving Idaho’s Digital Divide in the near future.

Overall, our group did a great job on this project.  We had several challenges including losing a group member which made more of a workload for each of us.  Our group members all had planned vacations where Internet access was not available.  Scheduling time to work on the project was also difficult while juggling our already busy lives.  We are all really happy with our final result.  We all worked really well together.  There is only one thing that I would change and that would be to spend more time on the bells and whistles of our Prezi.  After we finished recording each narration, adding them to our presentation, and listening to it all the way through, I thought we could have had two or three slides for each solution instead of just one.  We could have put the solution on one slide and narrated our introduction of it, then put the pros and cons on a second slide.  We could even have separated the pros and cons on a slide of their own.  In saying that, I am not sure what that would look like either.  Would that have meant too many slides only visible for a short amount of time?  Would it really impact the overall effectiveness of our presentation?  With more time we could have created both ways to see which we liked better.  With all that being said, we are really pleased with our presentation and I am overly impressed with creating something like this with two other people that live hundreds of miles away.  This project was both rewarding and satisfying.

View our Prezi here.