I am all for using technology in education. Students have grown up with technology. They are used to social media, Google, Wikipedia, etc. They are tech savvy. Researching topics for reports or reviewing information for tests and special projects are an easy task if the student has access to the internet.
One of the cons is that not all students have internet access. For example, 68% of students who attend Franklin School in Santa Barbara who happen to come from low-income families do not have internet access. When teachers don’t receive completed assignments from these students they are not given credit because they cannot complete the work. They then fall behind in school. Due to this digital divide, some students are categorized as low performing and at times, are enrolled in special education. It is a mistake to assume that everyone has internet access, especially if the consequences are to remove students from mainstream classes due to lack of access.
Schools have found a way to assist families who cannot afford access. However, this solution comes with a price. iPad minis are offered to all students whose parents agree to a payment plan. The iPads cost $399-$499 which is not affordable for low-income families so to make it affordable a $20.00 monthly payment plan for 36 months allows the family to keep the device. Do the math. Is this fair? There is still no access at home. This is the difference between the haves and the have-nots.
Technology is a big part of the lives of students. They use it for a multitude of things in several different ways. They are familiar with most platforms. I think training should be given to teachers in order to keep students accountable for proper usage and students should be trained in proper etiquette.