11/11 The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected – Talia Feinberg

This NYT article discusses the shift in the digital gap. Originally, poorer families were concerned that the rich would have more extensive access to technology, therefore, gaining technological skills that the poorer would not have. However, with technology becoming more accessible to all people, this concern has actually shifted to just the opposite. Now, rich people are vouching for their children to get off screens in the educational settings, and elsewhere, causing poorer people to be concerned that their children will have to rely on technology in their education and not get the luxury of human interaction. For example, “throwback play-based preschools are trending in affluent neighborhoods – but Utah has been rolling out a state-funded online-only preschool”. Now, affluent neighborhoods are urging their educational systems to revert to hands-on play and face-to-face interaction to promote communication skills in their children. This will in turn cause their children to be equipped with skills making it easier for them to get a job, spouse, friendships, and more – therefore, increasing all of these gaps on the basis of wealth. 

This was one of my favorite articles I have read in this class thus far. It is something I never thought about, but makes complete sense. Now that technology is so mass-produced and both affluent and poorer neighborhoods have access to technologies in school, the rich are using their privilege and more pristine school systems to step away from technology and get back to traditional skills. There was a very notable headline in this article: “there is a privilege in having a choice” which resonated with me in this topic, but is also true in every choice we have. This makes me wonder, how will educational systems equalize if there is this constant switch between the affluent trends in education?

4 thoughts on “11/11 The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected – Talia Feinberg

  1. I read this article too and i think a really big aspect of the problem is the access to information about the problem. It mentions in the article that a lot of educators don’t know about this issue with using technology in the classroom, so without that knowledge then there isn’t really a reason to stop using it. So, I think that more should be done to make people (parents and educators) more aware of the side effects of high technology use so they can make the decision on their own.

  2. Talia, this seems like a really interesting article and I appreciated reading your blog post. The quote you included about choice being a privilege resonated with me as well. The concept of privilege and choice is one that I have discussed a great deal in my Sociology and HMS classes. Having high levels of economic, political, and social capital allows individuals to navigate life in ways that they think are best. Therefore, those without high levels of these types of capital often do not have the luxury of navigating life with an abundance of choices. As advancements and changes occur in our society, we must be aware of how the privileged have greater access and mobility. This societal occurrence and its implications are important to understand in order to navigate and eradicate the inequities that continue to persist.

  3. I didn’t read this article and I was thinking the article was talking about that poor kids couldn’t afford the devices and thus lack of opportunities. After reading the blog, I felt surprised. It is true that some electronic devices are not expensive, and almost everyone can have at least one of them, and now the problem is having option. I looking forward to listening to the discussion in class, and personally, I always think that in-person teaching is more appealing. Except the special situations, such as the pandemic, it would be more beneficial to have an off-screens educational experience.

  4. I think that what you wrote about there being a privilege in having a choice is so important, and it extends to basically everything, not just technology. It is no secret that the more prominent you are when it comes to popularity, income, and so much more can open so many doors for a person that someone without those privileges couldn’t. This is just one example and I was definitely surprised to hear that wealthier parents are pushing back on technology while lower class ones aren’t. It is almost as if it is an opposite divide. We have seen the disparities in wealth playing a huge role in technology and the digital divide, but I didn’t think it would be reversed in this situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *