Living below the tech poverty line

11738047_10152969268283053_5325047692073970609_nI saw this photo from a teacher in the USA who was learning about using a new ‘laser’ cutter. Another teacher commented how cool they are, as they have one too. It seems I’m living below the tech poverty line these days with no Augmented Reality Goggles, 3D Printer, Robot Laptop Trolleys and certainly no laser cutter.

This made me wonder … given just about all the kids I now teach have smart-phones (mostly entry level, but smartphones none the less) and each kid has an iPad mini, this seems to be ‘entry level’ technology now. We don’t have a computer lab (yet) or laptops and by virtue of the campus location, the uplink to the internet is below the basic NBN tier (and not scheduled to be on the faux ‘fast net’ for some time).

Where I work, we do have the low-tech luxury of working with kids at a ratio of 1:20 (ish) in a PBL modality (but I don’t subscribe to the BIE model with much loyalty these days). So on one hand, when I see the raft of technologies in which some schools appear to have … I’m below the tech poverty line, but on the other I barely use technology as I once did. This is me the consumer talking of course. The one that used to believe that keeping up with the latest and greatest, lobbying for more was important. I used to pay way too much attention to people who make a living by peddling the ‘tech poverty line myth’.

I don’t doubt that some schools still have nothing, that some kids have nothing. After all, MOST of the kids on this planet right now don’t go to school or get any form of prescriptive education. So I wonder how relevant the ‘digital divide’ dogma is today among educators who seem relatively un-interested in the have-have-not-education and more interested in the have-have-not machines.