Why Technology Does Not Fix The Problem Of Educational Inequality
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Why Technology Does Not Fix the Problem Of Educational Inequality

Technology is today's enabler. Today, a teacher will post assignments on a school intranet, students can easily communicate via email and with the vast mobile devices available, the teacher and student can be connected at all times. There are even schools where every student is expected to have a laptop. However, can technology truly beat educational inequality?

Students have different educational capabilities. Some are outstanding learners that require minimal support even when working on tough problems. Others may be good in extracurricular activities but struggle in their studies. Other students are brilliant but need some prodding to complete assignments and study.

Technology Merely Amplifies a Student's capacity

Most educational content is available online. Students can indeed learn by visiting various websites that post relevant content. Nevertheless, parents still value personal guidance for their students. Even Steve Jobs admitted to not giving iPads to his kids. He purposely tried to limit the use of technology by his children at home.

Such parents are not necessarily anti-tech evangelists. In fact, most of them rely on technology to accomplish most of their work. They simply realize that technology and machines do not really contribute to education. Technology simply amplifies a student's power.

This implies that technology could have both benefits and disadvantages depending on the students. Computers could, for instance, be a distraction for some students while for other students it could help them perform better.

Education Inequality

Skill development in schools is often a factor of socioeconomic demographics. Consequently, students from lower class demographics tend to lag behind the middle and upper-class students. As a result, poor students are predisposed to remaining in poverty for their lifetimes.

Various efforts have been put up to try and combat this inequality. More education is assumed to develop a better workforce for a nation. This leads to better life for the citizen as better wages are awarded to more educated men and women.

In trying to address education inequalities, public leaders try to allocate resources and funding to offer new technologies in schools. This is done in the hope that it will end up making education programming and delivery more equal.

Digital Technology May Not Be Sufficient

Digital technology ends up amplifying any differences that may exist in wealth and achievement. As such, children with better technology will get more from digital technology in the classroom. Similarly, a student with a better vocabulary may benefit better from Wikipedia. A rich parent will hire a tutor to help the student program his or her devices while a poor student has to learn this on his or her own.

While the provision of technology in schools levels out the inequality of access, it fails to adequately cover the inequality in the skills of the learners. The whole point of an education system is to even out the playing field in terms of skill and competence of students. On the contrary, technology only serves to widen existing forms of inequality, especially regarding skill.

The Solution

The problems of an education system could be varied. Inadequate funding of schools with accompanying poorly designed incentives for teachers often lead to poor performance in public schools. Such problems do not exist in the best private schools. Hence, students there perform better. Even overlooking the possible lack of computers in schools, there still are other numerous factors that may contribute to an ailing education system.

Therefore, what a country needs is not the infusion of more technology into the education system. It rather should endeavor to provide high-quality adult supervision that is adequately focused on students that need it most. It is also recommended that any underlying socioeconomic chasms are also addressed.


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