The digital divide still looms large for low-income children.
Mention the best way for educators to prepare children for the future, and the conversation will nearly always come around to technology. As blogs light up with lively conversations about iPads, netbooks, and smart phones, it's easy to forget one major roadblock to preparing all children for the future: the digital divide.
Most middle-class children have home computers and can access the Internet. Not so for many children from low-income neighborhoods. This unequal access has serious implications for the growing chasm between low- and middle-income students. As a Pew Foundation report found, many children are using out-of-school time to refine their technology skills (Levin, Arafeh, Rainie, & Lenhard, 2002). This is fine for children from middle-class homes with a home computer, but what about the millions of children who are not from such homes?