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Multicultural Teaching and Learning with the Internet

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  1. Multicultural Teaching and Learning with the Internet by Paul Gorski University of Maryland, College Park gorski@wam.umd.edu June 1, 2001

  2. Goals • Develop a deeper understanding of the Digital Divide its relation to multicultural education • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Internet as an educational medium • Develop strategies for locating, assessing, and using contributive Internet resources • Locate intersections between the Internet and multicultural teaching philosophies

  3. Part One:Introduction(s) • Who are you? • Name • Institution • Primary interest in educational technology • Who am I? • Conceptualizing Multicultural Education

  4. Conceptualizing Multicultural Education: Working Definition Multicultural education is a progressive approach for transforming education that holistically critiques and addresses its current shortcomings, failings, and discriminatory practices. It is grounded in ideals of social justice, education equity, and a dedication to facilitating educational experiences in which all students reach their full potential as learners and as socially aware and active beings, locally, nationally, and globally. Multicultural education acknowledges that schools are essential to laying the foundation for the transformation of society and the elimination of oppression and injustice.

  5. Multicultural Education: Three Levels of Transformation • Transformation of self (What am I contributing to the inequities, consciously or unconsciously?) • Transformation of schools and schooling (Pedagogy, curriculum, classroom climate, counseling practices, testing, etc.) • Transformation of society

  6. Part Two:The Digital Divide What is the Digital Divide? • Inequities in access to technology (physical and pedagogical) • A divide across race, class, first language, disability, sex/gender, region, and other factors • The newest divide between the have’s and have-not’s

  7. Digital Divide:Three Primary Strands • Access to the technology • Home access to computers and Internet service • School and classroom access to computers and Internet service • Access to progressive pedagogy • Access to cultural capital

  8. 3 Strands of the Divide Access to technology Access to pedagogy Access to cultural capital The Big Whoop The same groups on the losing end of all three strands have been and continue to be disenfranchised by education in every other way. Digital Divide:At Issue

  9. Digital Divide Data:Class While only 39 percent of classrooms in schools with high concentrations of poverty (based on 71 percent student eligibility for free or reduced-price lunches) had Internet access in 1999, 74 percent of classrooms in schools with lower concentrations of poverty had Internet access by that time.

  10. Digital Divide Data:Region By January 2000, of the 242 million Internet users worldwide, 120 million are from the United States and Canada, while only 2.1 million are from Africa, 1.9 million from the Middle East, and 8 million from South America.

  11. Digital Divide Data:Education By 2000, only 4 percent of adults with only an elementary school education used the Internet, compared with 74.5 percent of those with at least a four-year college degree.

  12. Digital Divide Data:Race While about 70 percent of teachers in schools in which racial minorities comprise less than 20 percent of the student body report having Internet access in their classrooms, only 51 percent of teachers whose schools have 50 percent or more minority enrollments have that luxury.

  13. Digital Divide Data:Sex/Gender Though the disparity in Internet usage between men and women had largely disappeared by 2000, women are still more likely to use it recreationally to pursue hobbies and personal interests related to travel, health, and cooking, while men use it largely for professional or economic endeavors like on-line investing.

  14. Digital Divide Data:Disability By 2000, people with physical disabilities were less than half as likely to have computer access at home as people without physical disabilities; 23.9 and 51.7 percent, respectively.

  15. Digital Divide Data:First Language By 2000, 49.6 percent of the worldwide Internet users were first-language speakers of English despite the fact that they make up only 5.3 percent of the world's total population.

  16. Digital Divide Data:References CommerceNet. (2000). Worldwide internet population [online]. http://www.commerce.net/research/stats/wwwstats.html Cyber Dialogue. (1999). The American Internet User Survey [online]. http://www.cyberdialogue.com/free_data/index.html Global Reach. (2000). Global internet statistics (by language) [online]. http://www.glreach.com/globstats/index.php3 Kaye, H.S. (2000). Computer and internet use among people with disabilities. San Francisco, CA: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. National Center for Educational Statistics (2000a). Internet access in U.S. public schools and classrooms, 1994-1999. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Education. National Center for Educational Statistics (2000b). Teacher use of computers and the Internet in schools. Washington, D. C.: United States Department of Education. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) (2000). Falling through the net: Defining the digital divide. Washington, D.C.: NTIA. Smerdon, B., Cronen, S., Lanahan, L., Anderson, J., Iannottie, N., and Angeles, J. (2001). Teachers’ tools for the 21st century: A report on teachers’ use of technology. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics.

  17. Race During 1999, teachers in schools with low racial minority populations were more likely to use computers for inquiry-focused or interactive tasks like creating instructional materials, communicating with colleagues, or instructing students. Gender Women are still more likely to use it recreationally to pursue hobbies and personal interests related to travel, health, and cooking, while men use it largely to further professional endeavors like on-line investing. Digital Divide:Access to Progressive Pedagogy

  18. Digital Divide:Access to Cultural Capital Socio-cultural and socio-historical barriers to building technology infrastructure in Native American communities: • Distrust of new technologies • Distrust of federal assistance • Federal policy that fails to take the needs of Native Americans seriously

  19. Digital Divide:Access to Cultural Capital The Pew Internet Project found a related distrust among Black Internet users. Seventy-two percent of Black people are very concerned about businesses and other people obtaining their personal information, compared with 57 percent of White Internet users.

  20. Digital Divide:Solutions? Group One: Access to computers and the Internet at home and school. Group Two: Access to progressive pedagogy. Group Three: Access to cultural capital (pushing through the socio-cultural divide).

  21. Digital Divide Solutions:Some Ideas • Rethink the implications of the heavy reliance on computer technology in education • University/Public School partnerships • Intensive teacher training • Put money into training and up-keep instead of more and more equipment • Team teachers with technology experts to bridge some lack of knowledge in both groups

  22. Part Three:Internet as Educational Medium Opportunities • Global compendium • Expansion of resource base • Intercultural interaction • Facilitation of dialogue and social action

  23. Part Three:Internet as Educational Medium Challenges • Learning curve • Instability • Fading educational/commercial lines • Diminishing face-to-face interaction • Limited “inclusion”

  24. Part Four:Multiculturality of the Internet 3 Principles of Multicultural Education • Inclusive teaching and learning • Interactive teaching and learning • Collaborative teaching and learning

  25. Multiculturality of the InternetInclusive teaching and learning • Levels of “inclusion” (rep. versus critical) • “Other” voices • Excerpts from Slave Narratives • Native American Documents Project • Student Voices • Multicultural Graffiti • Voices of Women

  26. Multiculturality of the Internet:Interactive teaching and learning • Redefining “interactive” • First person sources • Eye Witness: A North Korean Remembers • Sidney Finkel’s Page • Interaction with peers • DiversityWeb Discussion Forums • Multicultural Pavilion Discussion Forums

  27. Multiculturality of the Internet:Collaborative teaching and learning • Collaboration among educators • DiversityWeb Leader’s Guide • PedagoNet • Collaborative Projects • Multicultural Song Index • Multicultural Passport

  28. Part Five:Digging through the Dirt 2 Strategies • Engines and indexes that have started digging • About.com • Looksmart • Organizations you know • PBS • National Geographic Society

  29. Assessment of My Use of Educational Web Sites • Do all of my students have equitable access to the technology needed to complete the task? • Does the resource encourage critical thinking? • Will using the Internet contribute to the learning process in relation to the given topic?

  30. Part Seven:Discussion • Unanswered questions. • New questions. • What I can do. • Tools and resources.