Learning with technology

Studying this topic has come with mixed feelings. I began this course feeling that it wouldnt or would never be useful. Although now my feelings have changed and instead of swimming against the flow i have joined it.

It began with me feeling as though i knew everything that was being put in front of me. I could just put down my knowledge and that would be more than enough to meet requirements. Then my mindset began to shift, i felt the need and importance of this subject as an education provider.

ICT is well and truly here to stay and is only going to get bigger and more complicated. If we aren’t up to date with current trends then its only going to be harder to catch up in the future. I can say from personal experience that there is nothing more annoying than a teacher who cant turn on a project. It is important for us, but more importantly to our students that we have an understanding of current trends so we can better connect with the students.

Choosing my subjects was a bit of a black and white decision. I wanted to choose one that was to do with the whole subject of ICT (Digital Divide) and the other darker side to ICT (Cyber Bullying).


The Digital Divide

This analysis will be discussing the Digital Divide and answering the questions; What is the digital divide? What’s being done about the divide? And how it effects educations?


The Digital Divide is a concept that relates to a gap that of knowledge that exists surrounding ICT . The divide is easiest seen as either generational or global gaps in society. The generational digital divide refers to the amount of time a Digital citizen has been exposed to ICT. When thinking about the generational digital divide we can go straight to our grand parents. We have been exposed to computers for a majority of our lives and they have not. The other side to the story, which is not always apparent, is the global gap. This refers to the amount of physical exposure a digital citizen has to ICT, be it monetary or infrastructure. This you tube video explains both gaps extensively.


The Digital Divide - Watch


When talking about the generational divide it simply comes down to effort. The issue isn’t the technology; it’s the individual’s mindset towards learning that new piece of technology. There is a relationship between age and computer use, with younger people reporting greater use of personal computers at home.


0-24 years - Almost half (46.0%) of all people reported they had used a computer in the week before the Census.
25-49 years - Just under half (43.3%) of all people reported they had used a computer in the week before the Census.
50+ years - One-fifth (20.7%) of all people reported they had used a computer in the week before the Census.
(ABS), (2005)

It is also reported that the probability of a person 65 and over to use the Internet is only 18.3%. (ABS), (2001)


The global divide has more problems and the solution is a lot harder. In order to narrow the divide the country or region needs to improve infrastructure. This means spending money, which isn’t always an option. As Chinn & Fairlie (2006) states that “The global digital divide is mainly—but by no means entirely—accounted for by income differentials.”


Australia’s situation with access to computers is:
“At the national level 66% of dwellings in major cities have access to the Internet, compared to 42% for very remote Australia. This gap is similar for Broadband access, the corresponding figures being 46% and 24%. Corresponding access rates for Inner Regional, Outer Regional and Remote Australia are 56%, 52% and 53% for Internet access and 32%, 27% and 28% for Broadband access.”
(ABS), (2007)


To combat these numbers the government is rolling out a national broadband network.
The Australian Government announced on 7 April 2009 it would establish a new company to build and operate a new high speed National Broadband Network. The $43 billion National Broadband Network is Australia’s largest infrastructure project, which will be accompanied by historic reforms to Australia’s telecommunications sector.
(DBCDE, www.dbcde.gov.au/broadband/national_broadband_network)


This network will increase current speeds of Internet as well as increase overall coverage of the country. The NBN will benefit education, health, business, families and rural persons. It will do this by connecting university and TAFE students to the world up to 100 faster than current, connect patients to doctors instantly, businesses can send larger files, families can watch hi definition video instantly while people in rural areas will have better access to more specialty services. For more information visit www.nbn.gov.au


The digital divide effects education because of equality. Not every student is going to be in the same financial situation. This may mean that technology may be limited or nil for some. In this case it’s important to make use of the schools computers to ensure equal access. In the circumstance of remote students it’s possible for a teacher to bridge the gap by streaming a class over the Internet. This means a student can still be apart of the education system even though they are thousands of kilometers away. This bridging on a larger scale can be seen in this YouTube video.


A digital revolution for the world’s remotest regions - Watch


These cities in Egypt and Brazil are remote, although they are being “bridged” to the world. They are now able to better their health system, by getting second opinions and extend education by streaming specialised classes from other institutions.


My evaluation of the situation is that the digital divide is here to stay. We can do the best to help the people around us to move forward and join the technology revolution. Although there really isn’t anything we can do for countries that cant afford to keep up. As teachers we can do our best to slow the divide by making sure that our classroom tasks don’t discriminate against lesser of students. In the end I could only see the digital divide closing if a) We slow technology down and let the rest of the world catch up. Or b) the world became 100% equal and there was no such thing as poverty.


Further research for this subject would be:
• Data on education results before and after new infrastructure
• The best methods of introducing new technology to young and old people


References:
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2004). Australian Online: How Australia are using computers and the Internet (cat no. 2056.0). Canberra, Australia: ABS


Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2005). Regional statistics (cat no. 1362.6). Canberra, Australia: ABS

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006). Patterns of internet access in Australia
(cat. no. 8146.0.55.001). canberra, Australia: ABS.


Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). Australian social trends, artcle: Internet access at home (cat no. 4102.0). Canberra, Australia: ABS


Chinn, M., Fairlie, R. (2006). The determinants of the global digital divide: a cross-country analysis of computer and internet penetration, Oxford economics papers. Retrieved from http://oep.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2006/12/03/oep.gpl024.abstract


Cyber Bullying Analysis

Within this analysis I will be discussing the topic of cyber bullying. It will describe the characteristics of cyber bullying, the prevalence of cyber bullying in youth, what to do to stop a cyber bully and my evaluation of the situation.


Cyber bullying is an old problem with a new twist. Traditionally bullying can be defined as abusive treatment of a person by means of force or coercion (Campbell 2005). This can be broken into four behavior categories: Verbal (Name calling, teasing, abuse, humiliation, sarcasm, insults, threats), physical (Hitting, punching, kicking, scratching, tripping, spitting), social (Ignoring, excluding, ostracising, alienating, making inappropriate gestures) and psychological (Spreading rumours, glaring, hiding or damaging possessions), (The Line fact sheet: bullying). This definition still applies to cyber or “computer” bullying, although the means of method is different and more intense. Cyber bullying behavior is both social and psychological in nature and is done via malicious SMS and email, misuse of camera phones, chat rooms and social network sites (facebook, twitter or other blog sites).


With 72% of Australian households having access to the Internet (ABS, 2008-09) and 31% of 5 to 14 year olds own their own mobile phone (ABS, 2008-09) youth cant just walk away from a schoolyard fight anymore. An American survey of 1566 students found that:

57% of students said that someone had said hurtful or angry things to them online with 13% saying it happens “quite often”

53% of students admit saying mean or hurtful things to someone online and 7% admit to doing it “quite often”

35% of students have been threatened online with 5% saying it happens “quite often”

42% have been bullied online with 7% saying it happens “quite often”

20% have received mean or threatening e-mails

58% have not told their parents or another adult about their experiences online
(Keith & Martin, 2005)


These figures are quite alarming and reiterate the point that young or old we cant simply “ignore” a predator like we are told when we are physically bullied. If an instance occurs the bullying can be up to 24 hours a day. Instead we must begin adept the method of coping to this new type of bullying and that’s through awareness. The link below is to a website called Cybersmart with a video that has a representation of the different forms cyber bullying and how they can get out of control and seriously affect a victim.


Cyber Bullying


The child “Joe” in this video clearly doesn’t understand why he is being targeted. He was bombarded with negative text messages, which then turned into phone calls, then emails and then a website was made to make fun of him. This resulted in his social image being effected and eventually the whole school teasing him not just the original predator. In the end “Joe” did the right thing, he told someone about the harassment.
Bullying No Way gives the plan of action towards cyber bullying of:
• Tell an adult you trust
• Leave the area of stop the activity
• Block the senders messages
• Keep a record of the messages
• Notify your service provider
• Tell the police

So what makes someone want to bully another person?
(Social Capital) states that “certain forms of social capital can operate to reinforce relative social positions within a local community, acting to exclude those with different norms and values”. Additionally others say that its comes for a need of superiority

As educators we must understand that the Internet is an integral part of our students social life. Instead of trying the impossible task of banning this side of their life we must instead inform them of the dangers and supervise their actions. The Cyber Safety website has a comprehensive catalogue of information about how they can stay safe. The graph below show methods of internet security that are currently being used in South Australian homes. In my view following these steps along with making it apparent of what can go wrong is the best step in slowing an unstoppable problem.


In conclusion cyber bullying is a large problem with no simple answer. Unless we can monitor our children and students 100% of the time then this problem will always be around. It should be our job to ensure they understand that their actions have repercussion and what to do if they become a victim. If a problem arises then they need to speak up with no hesitations.


Recommendations for further research would include:

More studies on the psychological effects of cyber bullying


References:
Agatston, P.,Kowalski, R., Limber, S. (2007) Students’ Perspectives on Cyber Bullying.
Journal of Adolescent Health 41 (2007) S59 –S60. retrieved from http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(07)00368-0/abstract


Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008-09). Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, (cat. no. 8146.0).canberra, Australia: ABS


Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2010). SA Stats, Australia, (cat. no. 1345.4).canberra, Australia: ABS


Australian Government. (n.d). fact sheet: BULLYING. Retrieved from http://www.theline.gov.au/factsheets/factsheet_bullying.pdf


Campbell, Marilyn A (2005) Cyber bullying: An old problem in a new guise?. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling 15(1):68-76. Retieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/1925/1/1925.pdf


Susan, K., Martin, M. (2005). Cyber-Bullying: Creating a Culture of Respect in a Cyber World. Reclaiming Children and Youth, Vol. 13, 9(2). retrieved from http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=M3RQmz24nTT2tq6f8P8Ml89qWmGbfNP9RvL4LRynvjlhSyLYmpC4!-1172235097!-1264998990?docId=5008733314


Examples of cyberbullying

Cybersmart Video


The video on the page above is a fantastic example of all the methods one might cyberbully another person. This sort of video is just the type of thing that students should be exposed to early on. It would highlight exactly how something so simply as a text message can escalate out of control into so much more. By giving perspective of both sides of the bullying you understand that something small on the predators side can seem massive on the victims.


Types of bullying.

Bullying can be broken into two types, physical and psychological (which includes verbal teasing). My research in concentrating on the latter.

Factors or profile of bullying in schools:
There is always a power imbalance that favors the perpetrator(s) over the victim.

The perpetrators are often supported by a group of peers, some of whom actively encourage the bully and others who watch, but do nothing to help peers who are targeted.

Targeted students draw the negative attention of their peers and are actively pushed out of the group and isolated.

Exclusion and isolation from the larger peer group fortify the power of the perpetrator(s).

The perpetrator’ behavior is uninvited and unwanted by victim.

The perpetrators’ action are deliberate, repeated and often relentless.

http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=vEm5LMC-2RcC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=anti+cyber+bullying&ots=MtVn8jtgI3&sig=Evbk_1RlBTND0Q0_Epb-QH-7bpE#v=onepage&q=anti%20cyber%20bullying&f=false


Scope of communication usage in young persons…

The information below was taken from the ABS website describing internet and phone ownership and usage.

"In April 2009, nearly four out of every five (79%) children aged 5-14 years (2.2 million children) used the Internet, compared to 65% in April 2006 (1.7 million children). Home was reported as the most common site for Internet use in 2009 (92% of all children accessing the Internet) followed by school (86%) (ABS 2009a). Older children (aged 12-14 years) had the highest proportion of Internet usage in April 2009 (96%). Internet usage was 60% for children aged 5-8 years."

"In April 2009, nearly a third (31%) of children aged 5-14 years had their own mobile phones (841,000 children), however for older children (aged 12-14 years) this proportion was much higher (76%). Children from one parent families were more likely to have their own mobile phone (38%) than children from couple families (29%), regardless of the age of the children. Mobile phone ownership was also higher for children where the sole parent (45%), or both parents (33%), were employed."

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1370.0~2010~Chapter~Children%20and%20mobile%20phones%20(4.8.5.3.2)


Have you been cyber bullied?

This journal entry states that if you have been cyber bullied at some point 30% of you would have told no one.

http://eprints.qut.edu.au/1925/1/1925.pdf



What is Cyber Bullying?

Cyber bullying can be described as

"when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-bullying

When i was growing up i fell right into the fad of chat rooms. Its why i came home straight after school to just get onto the internet and talk to people from all over the world. Then MSN messenger became my poison. I began to socialise with school friends at home via the internet. With the description above i can see how this could easily became a case of cyber bullying.


Digital Divide Analysis

Within this analysis i will be discussing the Digital Divide and answering the questions; What is the digital divide? What’s being done about the divide? And how it effects educations?


The Digital Divide is a concept that relates to a gap that of knowledge that exists surrounding ICT . The divide is easiest seen through the generational or socioeconomic gaps in society. The generational digital divide refers to the amount of time a Digital citizen has been exposed to ICT. When I think about the digital divide I go straight to my grand parents. I have been exposed to computers all my life and they have not. The other side to the story, which is not always apparent, is the socioeconomic. This refers to the amount of physical exposure a digital citizen has to ICT, be it monetary or infrastructure. This you tube video explains both gaps extensively.


The Digital Divide - Watch


When talking about the generational divide it simply comes down to effort. The issue isn’t the technology; it’s the individual’s mindset towards learning that new piece technology. Programs and groups exists which are full of like-minded people that streamline and ease this hard ache.


The socioeconomic divide has more problems and the solution is a lot harder. In order to narrow the divide the country or region needs to improve infrastructure. This means spending money, which isn’t always an option. Australia’s situation with access to computers is:


“At the national level 66% of dwellings in major cities have access to the Internet, compared to 42% for very remote Australia. This gap is similar for Broadband access, the corresponding figures being 46% and 24%. Corresponding access rates for Inner Regional, Outer Regional and Remote Australia are 56%, 52% and 53% for Internet access and 32%, 27% and 28% for Broadband access.”
(ABS), (2007)


To combat these numbers the government is rolling out a national broadband network and is set to spend $43 billion on it. This network will increase current speeds of Internet as well as increase overall coverage of the country.


The digital divide effects education because of equality. Not every student is going to be in the same financial situation, which means technology may be limited for some. In this case it’s important to make use of the schools computers to ensure equal access. In the circumstance of remote students it’s possible for a teacher to bridge the gap by streaming a class over the Internet. This means a student can still be apart of the education system even though they are thousands of kilometers away. This bridging on a larger scale can be seen in this YouTube video.


A digital revolution for the world’s remotest regions - Watch


These cities in Egypt and Brazil are remote, although they are being “bridged” to the world. They are now able to better their health system, by getting second opinions and extend education by streaming specialised classes from other institutions.


My evaluation of the situation is that the digital divide is here to stay. We can do the best to help the people around us to move forward and join the technology revolution. Although there really isn’t anything we can do for countries that cant afford to keep up. As teachers we can do our best to slow the divide by making sure that our classroom tasks don’t discriminate against lesser of students. In the end I could only see the digital divide closing if a) We slow technology down and let the rest of the world catch up. Or b) the world became 100% equal and there was no such thing as poverty.


Further research for this subject would be:
• Obtaining data on the cost of implementing remote infrastructure
• Data on education results before and after new infrastructure
• The best methods of introducing new technology to young and old people


References:
ACCANvideo (2010, June 30). The digital divide [video file]. retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doVVEcidowU


Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006). Patterns of internet access in Australia
(cat. no. 8146.0.55.001).canberra, Australia: ABS.


Digital citixen. (n.d.). in Wikipedia, retrieved September 2, 2010,from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_citizen


Digital divide. (n.d.). in Wikipedia, retrieved September 2, 2010,from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_divide


ICT. (n.d.). in Wikipedia, retrieved September 2, 2010,from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICT


Medialink (2007, January 23). A digital revolution for the world’s remotest regions [video file]. retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgIimMEronA