ERIC Number: ED428720
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
The Internet and Equality of Educational Opportunity.
Schofield, Janet Ward; Davidson, Ann Locke
One benefit often expected to flow from Internet use in schools is an increase in equality of educational opportunity as all kinds of schools gain access to the same extraordinary set of resources. Yet, prior research suggests that patterns of technology access often mirror existing inequalities rather than mitigate them. This paper discusses the issues pertinent to equality that arose in Common Knowledge: Pittsburgh, a project with the goal of bringing Internet access to teachers in the Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) public schools for use in instruction. It is concluded that, even though this project strongly valued equality, competing considerations led to some inequality of Internet access between schools serving different kinds of students. Furthermore, within given schools, numerous factors, including the perception of Internet use as an optional privilege and many teachers' lack of familiarity with the Internet and computing more generally, resulted in greater access for students who were already ahead of their peers academically and/or with regard to knowledge of computing. Topics discussed include the project and its setting, methods, and results related to equality of inputs (i.e., distribution of Internet access across the school system) and equality of educational processes (i.e., distribution of Internet access inside classrooms). Contains 15 references. (Author/DLS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.; Department of Commerce, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A