Judging from the hot discussion points in today's conversations, there seem to be a lot of "gaps" in education right now. Students face the dreaded achievement gap while offices are forced to confront the efficiency gap. But there's one gap in particular that touches everyone - students, teachers, and administrators alike. It's called the digital literacy gap.
To understand the digital literacy gap better, it's important to look at the current state of the workforce and what that might mean for students.
An astonishing 60% of students in school today will end up in careers that do not yet exist, according to Eileen Huang of Google's education team in this District Administration
"If you think about it, many of the tech roles that you and I have today didn't exist when we were in school," she said. "Many non-tech roles have changed dramatically as well, generally as a result of adoption of technology." Huang argues that many careers in technology cannot even be predicted yet, and research has shown she's correct; 96% of working Americans use new communications technologies as part of their daily life, while 62% use the Internet as an integral part of their jobs, according to this Pew
Internet and American Life Project study
It's clear, then, that students graduating high school today will need to be well-versed when it comes to navigating technology and the web. Your staff will also continue to see their roles change as technology becomes a more integrated part of our daily lives. Yet, in both cases, background and opportunity play a significant role in determining how confident and proficient an individual is while using that technology. Whether that divide is generational, socio-economical, or driven by other factors, one fact remains: the playing field is not level
It's time to narrow the digital divide. In this article, we'll explore some of the options at your disposal to help you close the digital literacy and access gaps within your district and community. Ultimately, success in this endeavor will result in more internal efficiency and improved student achievement - two goals that every school district is striving for.