This week, we had to create a presentation on the Digital Divide and Digital Inequalities using Google Slides and VoiceThread. Although I’ve created presentations in other programs, using both Google Slides and VoiceThread was a new experience for me. In preparation for this presentation, I skimmed through the book, Presentation Zen, Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, by Garr Reynolds. What I gained the most from this book is how powerful simplicity can be. I’m not a wordy person by any means, so I really liked this idea as long as a balance can be maintained. Being subtle and having space in your presentation adds to this “simplicity.” I don’t know how many times I have sat through Power Point Presentation where the slides were filled with text and tons of bullet points. As soon as these slides appeared, my attention went right out the door. With this in mind, I tried to keep my slides simple, clean and visually interesting. I used a variety of images obtained from a free public domain website. I didn’t want the images to be too distracting, so I adjusted the opacity on a number of them. Having a voice connected to the slides is a great concept! Being able to add the audio makes the experience of the presentation more personal and perhaps more effective.
Prior to this assignment, I had no idea there was anything called the digital divide and digital inequality. As I mention in my presentation, I know there’s issues that center around technology, but I never put deep thought into how that impacts society. I liken it to the achievement gap in education. I found all of the readings very intriguing and even found a book while I was researching that I would like to purchase, Educating the First Digital Generation, by P. Harwood and V. Asal. After reading The National Education Technology Plan of 2010, I’m curious to know what the results have been over the past 5 years. How much of the plan has been implemented across the United States? What are some of the achievements and failures? As I go forward with this newly learned information, I will strive to provide all of my students will an equal opportunity to access technology in my classroom and I will continue to advocate for equal access and usage in my school.
I truly felt I did not have ample time to present the information in a more detailed manner. There’s a lot of background information I felt I could have included, but I just did not leave enough time for myself to do that. Although I sent out a survey on technology usage in the classroom to the staff at my school, I didn’t get the response I had hoped for. Thankfully, I was able to get a few ideas from the few completed surveys. Also, I really wanted to send out a survey to all the parents of our students to get accurate statistics on technology access and usage in the home, but I was not able to do so. Unfortunately, we have had numerous days off and delays, which has severely impacted the timing aspect of this presentation. There simply was not enough time to get the information I wanted.