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Does Technology Create a Divide between the More and Less Fortunate? (Essay Sample)


Pick the topic of your choice from the two questions listed below and write a short essay (4 pages, double-spaced). You do not have to answer the individual questions at the end of the topics--they are meant to give you ideas that you can address in your paper.
For this paper, you also have the option to pick a current-events topic of your choice that interests you. This topic must be relevant to ethics and technology and must be defended. Define the topic and further develop your stance on the issue--why you support it, what it represents, why is it negative, what are its attributes....
This assignment will be worth 25 points and will consist of two parts: structure and content. The structure of the paper will be worth 10 points. This includes grammar, clarity, typographical errors, format, and proper citations. The paper's content will be worth 15 points. This includes the quality of the paper--did you address all issues, is your argument supported, is the topic identified and explained?
Does Technology Create a Divide between the More and Less Fortunate?
A teacher assigns a research paper that requires students to read several articles on the web. A school requires that all students type papers on a computer and submit the papers using email. While these may be valid ways to integrate technology in the classroom, they assume all students have ample access to technology outside of school. School districts that assume all students have computers/Internet access at home place less fortunate students at a further disadvantage. These students may have to stay after school to use a computer or study at the local library to access the Internet. Students at school districts in disadvantaged areas may fall further behind if the school is unable to provide access to the technology taken for granted at other schools, including interactive whiteboards and dedicated technology specialists. These discrepancies are known collectively as the digital divide, a term used to illustrate the gap between those with and without access to technology. With the recent widespread growth of mobile device users, some aspects of the digital divide are closing. Students can email and do research on Internet-capable mobile devices. Mobile device capabilities, however, are limited. You cannot use a mobile device to write a research paper, prepare a resume, or submit a college application.
Is it the school's responsibility to provide an even playing field regarding technology access? Should schools be allowed to require students to use technology? What steps can society take to narrow the digital divide? In your opinion, is the digital divide less/more prevalent today?


Does Technology Create a Divide Between the More and Less Fortunate?
Just like in the eighteenth century where industrial revolution changed society and made possible the existence of innovations, technology is changing the 21st century. Access to internet, computers and having the knowledge to use them has been paramount in all fields. Technology has become the mode of communication and a getaway to many innovations. However, access, availability and utilization of technology is limited to few individuals causing a digital divide. The divide is between the underprivileged or less fortunate in society who due to financial limitation cannot afford to use technology and the rich. Despite technology becoming affordable with increased internet access to many people, the technology gap between the more and less fortunate remains. Therefore, this paper looks at how technology causes the digital divide in the education sector and the possible solutions.
Factors Contributing to the Digital Divide
Access to technology is a challenge for the less fortunate students. In most instances, the technological gadgets and the internet are installed in high income earning societies whose demand and willingness to pay for the services is high. The less fortunate are unlikely to only access technology, but also know about its existence due to their disadvantaged nature of the economic and social level. Schools in the same regions also experience similar difficulties as they stem out of the society.
Income is another factor that tends to either influence or discourage one from becoming technologically endowed. Technology is an expensive venture. It requires equipment and additional charges for services like internet and computers. Low income earners have limited financial resources to spend on technology unlike the high-income earners. The 2012 Pew Report indicates that in households with less than $30,000 income a year, only 62% had access to internet, while more than 90% of households earning $50,000-$74,000 annually had internet access CITATION Liz16 \l 1033 (Soltan). Thus, poor neighborhoods lack the necessary infrastructure existing in affluent places. In this case, less fortunate students also have no access to the internet which the rich students have. The differences also limit the poor students' knowledge and use of technology. Such aspects translate to the poor performances and discriminatory education where teachers require students to utilize technology in handling their research or coursework.
The level of education among the poor and the rich also varies greatly leading to a variation on their technology adoption rate. The more fortunate tend to have higher educational levels than the less fortunate. A parent with a Master's degree is likely to have a computer and internet and encourage the same in the child compared to a grade 7 drop out. Students from such households also face similar challenges making it difficult for teachers to use technological teaching aid in schools. Relatively, the use of technology by students also varies across the class divide. For instance, learning institutions in low-income regions apt to use computers for basic practice session. However, schools in affluent places utilize technology for innovative and creative projects. Thus, poor chil

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