11/11 Zach Coriarty “The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected”

In “The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected”, Nellie Bowles argues that the technological divide has drifted from the upper class being the only ones with technology to the upper class being the group that can now only afford in-person interaction.

Bowles cites multiple cases where schools are transitioning to entirely online teaching, or in the case of a silicon valley public school, suppling an iPad to each student. Whereas more competitive schools, like the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, are pushing back on bringing newer technology into the classroom. She continues to bring forth the argument that the reason technology is so prevalent in classrooms is because the big tech companies essentially lied to the schools about the effectiveness and the benefit of using their technology in the classrooms. The result of this lying seems to have caught up in some families though, where the parents have decided to completely eliminate the technology because their children can’t even communicate at the dinner table.

I thought this article was really interesting, especially because I had no idea there has been a switch in what is regarded as the new upper class. When I was in middle school, my class got Chromebooks and then in high school, we used iPads, which I thought was really cool, but I can see how it could have been an impairment as well since I could just look answers up if I needed to, rather than thinking critically. Additionally, I thought it was interesting that the Waldorf School never used technology like its public school counterpart, especially because a lot of silicon valley executives send their children here and sit on the board; its almost as if they knew the real effect that the newer technology would have on children.

2 thoughts on “11/11 Zach Coriarty “The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected”

  1. I also read this article and too, found it very interesting as I was unaware of this switch. What I didn’t think about, which you brought up, is this idea of the affluent people in Silicon Valley potentially being ahead of the curve in understanding the impacts of technology. In general, people who are affluent who tend to be ahead of the curve, but I find it interesting that now they are ahead in almost the opposite way you would expect: stepping back from technology instead of further advancing.

  2. Zach, I never really thought of this perspective before and it is interesting to read this post while thinking about my own experience. I went to a private high school in Miami, FL, and technological devices were never allowed in the classroom. We strictly took hand-written notes and would have to wait till a free period to use our phones. Looking back on my experience and comparing it to the examples you provided in your discussion, I think this ultimately benefited me and I think I have become way too attached to my devices in college. As you mentioned with the Silicon Valley executives, the effects of technology in the classroom are clearly known and it seems as though there may need to be some regulation with devices to provide an equitable learning experience for all.

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