Wednesday, 17 October 2012

#mLearn12 David Parsons on digital divide

David Parsons (black and grey sweater and matching jeans) always gives a clear presentation, based on clear academic arguments.

Bridging digital divides in the learning process: challenges and implications of integrating ICTs
Digital divide 3 parts: digital access, digital capability, digital outcome.

Projects on digital divide tend to focus on access, so open territory for research.

Agenda for study:
Take all the forms of digital divides and put them into a digital divides in the learning process. 
Digital access divide: socio-economic status, ethnicity, geographical region
Digital capability: infrastructure, access..
Focus of this study on digital divide outcomes: attitude and motivation, nature of ICT usage, capability of meaning making.

Aims of the study:
Evaluate the one-to-one integration of ICTs into the learning process
Investigate the impacts of various factors on aspects of the digital divide
design an intervention to minimize negative and/or increase positive impacts on learning outcomes

Research environment: classrooms and using mobile devices.

Top 4 positives from data so far?
studnts can gather information quickly and easily from various sources
students don't need to carry books etc., just one device
engagement of students in learning activities has improved
students carry and use their devices anytime

Top 5 negatives from data so far?
distraction and lack of control in the classroom
internet problesm and non-recommended devices distrupt learning activities
digital devices do not prepare students for written exams
negative impact on the students' critical thiking
increased teacher workload

Want to read more? Look here for the paper with Janak Adhikari, the PhD student working on this research

Abstract of paper:
Emerging digital technologies have a potential for transforming learning in deep and meaningful ways. For this reason diffusion of information and communication technology is needed to reach out to learners and it is very important that all learners have equitable access to these tools. A broader definition of equity reaches beyond physical access to technology to include meaningful use of these tools by learners. This study explores various aspects of the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in formal education system to investigate learning. The paper focuses on how different types of digital divides may arise and be addressed in the process of integrating ICT into formal education.