Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Third Digital Divide

I was reading a chapter entitled "Present Tense and Future Tensions" from Literacy 2.0 today and I liked the way the digital divide was described.

The 1990s - the first digital divide - was the gap between those who had access to technology and those who didn't.  The first digital divide was about who had the hardware.

2000s - the second digital divide - this was the gap between those who could access the internet and those who could not.  The second digital divide was about wifi and bandwidth.

Now - the third digital divide - this is to do with the gap between those who know how to utilize information and communication technologies to meet their needs and those who don't.  The third digital divide is about education.  It is about those students who are using technology to connect and communicate with others to tackle meaningful problems and those students for whom technology still means making, saving and accessing documents.  It's about those who are encouraged to used technology to develop 21st century skills by teachers who are developing new pedagogies and those who are still using technology in the ways it was used in the 20th century.  It's about teachers who use technology to transform the learning as opposed to teachers who use technology to enhance it.

Photo Credit:  2-Way Traffic by J Heffner AttributionNoncommercial 


  1. You are so spot on with this post. It should be read and shared widely so teachers should make better choices and integrate tech in meaningful ways.

  2. Yes! I was so disappointed recently to read a statement from our school in a parent newsletter that said that the school's focus "will remain on using technology as a tool to reinforce and enhance what is taught in the classroom". It's such a 20th century vision! Thank goodness I'm leaving!