Sunday, June 9, 2013

21st century learning - inequitable access Scenario: A fictional newspaper article

The following is a fictional newspaper article of a possible future scenario for primary education, followed by comments by fictional readers.

Acme Corp. to donate 500 tablet computers to school

The hall in Smallville Primary school was filled with excitement when principal Seymour Skinner announced the $250,000 worth donation from Acme Corporation to equip all students with Acme tablets. “This is an exciting moment for our small school! We are a low decile school and we do our best to ensure that our students are given equal opportunities to develop their skills to prepare them for the world. We are really grateful to Acme for their generosity” principal Skinner says. “BYOD wasn’t an option for us as it was in other schools – most of our students could not afford it. I now see new learning opportunities rising for my students and for me as a teacher now!” Year 4 teacher Mr Garrison says.

“The world advances, technology advances and schools have to keep up. We understand how challenging this can be for low decile schools and we all need to do our best to give them a helping hand. This is the least that Acme corp. can do to contribute to the preparation of tomorrow’s citizens and employees” Acme representative Elmer Fudd says.


Mary B. 5 hours ago
Am I the only one who finds this suspicious? Acme’s charter High school was in the news last month for its low enrolment numbers. And what do they mean by employees? Their employees?

Susan G. 3 hours ago
I hear you Mary B. It just doesn’t feel right. I understand that low decile schools are in greater need of resources now but the so called 21st century learning is for the good of the public, then the public should fund these resources for low decile schools as well.

Brian T. 2 hours ago
I think this is a great move from Acme corp and a great example for other companies as well. My kids are very lucky to go to a school that all kids have access to computers – even those who can’t afford it they can hire laptops from the school. I compare this to my sister’s kids, they don’t even know how to use a search engine. Even if this donation is to attract Smallville primary students to their charter high school, these kids will be trained by one of the biggest multinational companies and they will secure their future.

Sally R. 2 hours ago
I agree with you Brian. My kids’ school is somewhere in the middle, some of the classes use computers, some other’s don’t. I am worried about my kids’ future and if I had the opportunity I would move to a better suburb to give my kids’ a better chance.

Mary B. 1 hour ago

I understand your concerns Sally R., I am a mother of three and I have the same concerns. But what happens to all those kids that don’t have the opportunity to go to a higher decile school? It seems to me that we increase the divide instead of decreasing it.

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