Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bridging the Digital Divide

I found this article to be a bit redundant of things we have talked about in class and maybe in another article we have read. In response to the location of the computers, I don't necessarily agree that a computer lab is not a good spot to place computers. I grew up with a computer lab in my school and it was in what we called "the Pod." About 6 or 7 classrooms surrounded the Pod so each classroom shared all of the computers in their specific Pod. The teachers would have to reserve time slots when their students were allowed to used the computers but when no class was using them, any student was allowed to use them freely. Swain and Pearson say that computer labs, "reinforce the idea that computers are simply “extra” or “special” instead of an integral part of the learning process." The way that we set up our lab made it feel like it was part of every class so it really was part of our learning process. Another point in the article that I didn't quite understand the benefit of was  when the authors were saying that it benefits the students when the computers that are in the classroom are located close to each other so that the students can share ideas. For me, this would just be a distraction. Also, if there are only 3 to 5 computers in the classroom, the children who are unable to use the computers would be extremely distracted. I think that I like the idea of a computer lab. It seems more economic for the school and also less distracting for the students. 

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