Bridging the Digital Divide in the classroom

As the Technology Coordinator for our rural adult education program, I am trying to find information to share with our instructors which will convince them that integration of technology is crucial to the learning styles of today's learner. Are there any good articles I can share or an online professional development program I can implement to help our teachers make an automatic connection to online resources that will help our teachers understand the need to bridge the digital divide? Also, I am looking for a resource to help teachers understand how to teach our students to do better at online reading. Thank you.



Hi Debbie,

There are three articles in the LINCS Resource Collection on the Digital Divide which might be useful:

The Positive Impact of eLearning— 2012 UPDATE

"This white paper summarizes some key research findings to help educational leaders identify relevant eLearning benefits and make judicious decisions as they develop their eLearning strategies. To further aid in planning, it shares findings relating to the challenges of eLearning implementation, and provides a bibliography for additional reading."

The three divides: The digital divide and its relation to basic skills and employment in Portland, USA and London, England. 

"This comparative study was the rising importance of digital competence and access to computers as part of contemporary employ-ability. Recent studies have consistently shown that individuals who have ʻdigitalʼ accessʼ have had more education and higher status occupations. This study capitalised on the availability of comparable longitudinal research resources relevant to the target populations – in the UK, the 1970 British Cohort Study and in Portland, Oregon, the Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning"

The Relationship Between Literacy Proficiency and The Digital Divide Among Adults with Low Education Attainment

"This is a technical report from The Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning (LSAL). This report gives information on one subset of the Digital Divide."

And in regards to reading online and reading on a screen, at the very least these are skills that are now required in order to successfully take any computer based test including the GED or the computer based TASC.  For many students (and teachers!) even if one reads well on paper, reading on a screen or online is a very different experience and not one that most of us practice unless we have to--especially for reading lengthy non-fiction documents.  Beyond testing, many jobs and most colleges now require some amount of reading on a screen and reading online.  Even applying for jobs that won't require computer skills may require a job applicant to fill out their job application online.  Many school systems now give access to grades and other important information to parents via online communities.  And a co-worker recently told me that when she went to the emergency room with a very sick child, the intake process required that she fill out medical information on a computer a console in the waiting area. So reading online and reading on a screen are skills we all need. 

Read Theory is interesting website that offers online reading activities focusing on explicit reading skills and the website is free.  I have not used it with students but from what I have seen of the content on the site it is adult appropriate and a clean and elegant interface.

What other resources have you all used for practicing reading online or on a screen?




What other