Blog #1

10 Essential Tips For Meeting Tech Needs of Low-Income Schools

Part 1: Summary

This article titled 10 Essential Tips For Meeting Tech Needs of Low-Income Schools explains the need schools, especially low-income schools, have to possess technology in the classroom.  Technology in schools helps engage students in learning as well as further improving the learning experiences students have.  In large, poverty stricken classrooms, such as the ones in Encompass Academy, technology helps keeps the classroom focused on fun, exciting learning experiences while teachers provide one-on-one help to struggling students.  Encompass Academy is an elementary school located in Oakland, California and is the focus of this article.  This school’s students all qualify for free and reduced lunch and 70 percent are English language learners.  So when Encompass Academy was able to obtain technology in there classroom, these students’ learning experiences were improved.  Encompass’s blending learning programs and tablets provided children with first-time experiences with technology as well as a different way to learn with programs that did not completely rely on the English language.  To make sure that this new technology was used correctly, Encompass followed 10 tips that are listed in the article.  Overall, the guidelines concluded that technology should: compliment lessons not replace them; free up teacher’s time to further prepare for lessons; bring family communication closer; and prepare students for our nation’s ever growing use of technology.

Part 2: Q’s and A’s

Q1) What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I believe that low-income students definitely do need access to technology.  Low-income schools often have packed classrooms with less one-to-one interaction. With technology, like the article stated, learning programs on computers could keep students busy on learning while teachers can have time to help with the students that are really struggling. Therefore, because overfilled classrooms mainly appear in low-income schools, I argue that these schools need technology more than middle or high-income schools that have less students in a classroom so there is more teacher to student interaction. In addition, low-income students probably do not have access to technology like computers at home like higher-income students do.  So by not providing experiences with technology at school, these low-income students are going to be at a disadvantage later on in life because of our nation’s growing use of technology.

Q2) What limitations or criticisms of the idea are important to consider?

Low-income schools obviously do not have much money to spare for technology in their classrooms.  Encompass Academy got lucky when they found partnerships with private companies that offered them free products.  However, not all schools will be able to find partnerships, nor will every private company offer up these generous partnerships.  So when reading this article people may agree with the need for technology, but the sad realization is is that technology in low-income schools is very difficult to obtain.

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