Serving the underserved students; low-income and technology

Taylor, Andrea
CA, IL, ET
Zielezinski, M. B. (2016, May 19). What a Decade of Education Research Tells Us About Technology in the Hands of Underserved Students. Retrieved from: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-05-19-what-a-decade-of-education-research-tells-us-about-technology-in-the-hands-of-underserved-students

Summary: This article is about how to use the influx of hardware and software in schools to better serve underserved students. The sad truth is that there is an alarming number of low-income, minority, and special education students that are not  graduating from high school. In a study of edtech, it was found that access to internet sources was not enough; technology could not be used for remediation and drills and benefit these students. It is a problem when privileged students use technology for so much more, while underserved students are limited to drills. It is from this issue that five tips are provided.

The first tip is to not use technology for remediation. This means rather than using technology to drill kids into learning the standards for their grade level, schools should use technology to bring the students in. The goal should be to engage students in relevant ways, teaching them communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, not to just have kids memorize facts and equations.

The second tip is to have the students get creative by having them design their own digital content. Examples of this is how students can create their own film documentaries or use social media as a way to teach and learn. The biggest benefit to this is that students will create ongoing portfolios that they can add to for years to come.

The third tip is to use digital tools that incorporate interactivity. The best programs/apps are ones that allow students to come to their own conclusions and understandings, allowing them to see real life situations, and be able to use many forms of media.

The fourth tip is to view the students as experts and have them share their “expertise” with a real audience. This is shown to improve the quality of their work, encouraging creativity and ingenuity. Rather than write a small paper for the teacher, they have the opportunity to create a film for an entire community of people.

The fifth tip is to find the perfect blend of teacher and technology. The two must go hand in hand, and in order for digital learning to be effective the teacher plays an important role.

Review: I really liked this article because it went beyond the claim that low-income students have no access to technology or the internet. It realized that even with access there needs to be further steps taken to help these students thrive and utilize the technology appropriately. Any research done to help underserved students is a must, and I think this article does a great job highlighting five easy to achieve steps.

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Public school libraries Closing and negative affect

Shibrie Wilson

Z-Discussion

Schou, S. (2014, February 28). How cuts and closures of elementary school libraries are hurting our kids. Retrieved from Takepart website: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/02/28/read-public-school-libraries-suffer-staff-cuts-and-closures

Summary: School libraries are constantly closing surprising in major cities such as Philadelphia, New York, L.A., and other places.  Kyle Ashberry library aide to two schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. His position receives special funding from government to increase performance in minority communities. School libraries in L.A.  district has closed their doors to many school libraries in which has eliminated qualified librarians and aids. Unfortunately, there is no statistical data on public school affected by library staff cuts and closures. Many U.S. schools lacks qualified candidates in public school libraries. Administrators and local officials have adopted conception in which they believe closing libraries will save money yet this is false. There is a distinct correlation between literacy rates affect to poverty and crime. Many low income students desperately need libraries in school s because they are unable to access public libraries in their communities. For many students just as adults books are a way in which one can escape reality and focus on different things. Issue as is many school districts is that school library aides are being forced to compete against school nurses, and nurses are preferred over library aides.  

Review: This article is something that I hold close to my heart. Considering district in which I work for recently voted to layoff positions in middle and elementary libraries. Out of 12 sites and 12 employees district has decided to layoff 9 people and allot 2hours per day to 3 individuals covering 12 sites. This is not infallible. From this article and issue occurring personally I have developed a strong advocacy for school libraries and importance of having access in schools. I think it is important to have a qualified librarian and aide to assists professional. There is so much more to librarianship that many persons do not understand therefore do not value.