A major objective of HCLE is to help today’s educators benefit from lessons learned in the early days of educational computing. The blog above, “Solving the technology access problem for on-line learning” and the following comments demonstrate how tough it is get our arms around this problem even after 40 years of experience. In comment #5, Liza Loop adds some insights from the past that seem to be still relevant.
We’ve heard about this problem before: Online courses don’t reach the low-income students who most need them, because they don’t have access to the technology on-ramp. This was an issue in the San Jose State experiment.
That’s because the technology required for online courses isn’t always easily accessible or affordable for these students. Although the course may be cheaper than classroom-based courses, the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education argues in a report released Wednesday low-income students might still have a harder time accessing it.
“We have to wrap our heads around the fact that we can’t make assumptions that this will be so simple because everyone will just fire up their computers and do the work,” says Lillian Taiz, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles, and president of the California Faculty Association.
Many students, Taiz says, don’t have computers at home, high-speed Internet access, smart…
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