Using Smartphones To Bridge the Digital Divide
The term “Digital Divide” was coined about 15 years ago to indicate the fact that low-income families were not able to afford computers and internet access and so could not make use of the benefits of technology in education.
Since that time advances in technology - especially in the development of Smart Phones - now provide a solution to this vexing problem.
I teach low-income immigrants and over the years have seen how technology has grown in importance for them in providing a multitude of methods to learn English daily.
Since March I have been a volunteer tutor at a public library in a predominantly Latino community. I teach two classes each Monday and Wednesday using a room that has 5 computers.
My course consists of hard copies of texts, CDSs, DVDs, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and various internet sites (see below). I provide the texts and discs, and use the Smart Phone to remind them to come to class, and I also send “homework” - usually You Tube videos.
Almost all of the students are women from 30 to 60 years old, and many work and have children in one of the two Elementary schools nearby.
Five do not own computers so I have encouraged them to buy used computers from local second-hand stores.
I usually distribute flyers for them to hand out to friends announcing the class.
Gradually the classes have grown so that now there are more than 25 students in total. I am very pleased with the progress being made.
Recently some of them showed the flyer at parents’ meetings in their schools, and there was a good response, so I am going to talk with the principals about setting up classes in the schools’ computer labs.
My goal is to make presentations at schools and libraries in the area to generate interest in this kind of community based adult distance/blended learning approach.
MY FACEBOOK GROUPS WITH LESSONS:
1. ENGLISH FOR KIDS
2. PUMAROSA https://www.facebook.com/groups/611672245534627/
3. PREGUNTA A PROFE PABLO