Technology has made us all kinds of promises when it comes to transforming the way we learn — not least of which was the promise to break the “digital divide.” The ease of communication promised by the web would allow the economically disenfranchised to have access to ideas and collaborative resources more commonly found in affluent schools.
So it is assumed.
In fact there is some evidence showing that some educational technologies are used less effectively in poor schools than in rich ones.
Today’s guest, Berkman Fellow Justin Reich, gathered data on the usage of some 180,000 publicly accessible wikis used for collaboration and education in school settings for his report The State of Wiki Usage in U.S. K-12 Schools: Leveraging Web 2.0 Data Warehouses to Assess Quality and Equity in Online Learning Environments. What he found was that wikis were generally less helpful to poor schools than conventional wisdom might have us believe.
He talked to David Weinberger about his findings.