Today was the first day of School at North Port High School, a small city of about 50,000 mostly middle class people on Florida’s west coast. I had prepared a powerpoint with my opening day information and procedures as I had done in the past, but this time included a link to the website, blog, and podcast pages that I had set up for my class.
When I asked my students who had a blog or had heard of blogging, I was stunned to see only about 10% of the hands go up. It was only about 5% for podcasts. I think that the “digital divide” may be bigger at my school than I had previously thought.
Perhaps we are too quick to assume that students know everything about computers. Granted, there are some students with impressive skills, but how many of them actually use the computer for anything other than email and myspace? By the way, fully 70% of my students had a myspace account. I told them that was basically a blog. Blank stares.