School 2.0 & the Academic Digital Divide

This month our Cool Toys group will be having a conversation about the campus digital divide — students and faculty/staff who perhaps arrived on campus without the technological skills of their peers, nor the tech skills to support use of emerging distance and campus learning technology competencies. This may happen as a result of lack of access, lack of time, lack of desire, tech phobia, perception that it is not an essential skill, or many other reasons. You can look at this topic from several directions:
– What are the core educational tech competencies?
– What are the missing skills that most impact on performance & academic success? How do you tell the story?
– What are the tools people most need to be comfortable with? Are these different for faculty and students?
– What are the causes of an academic digital divide?
– What are the manifestations or outcomes of an academic digital divide? What are the costs to the organization of the lack of skills? What are the costs to the individual? What are the benefits from having the skills to both organization and individual?
– What resources or attitudes or strategies are needed to support or promote change? What are we doing well? What else could be done? What is not needed, and what are the top priorities?

There are many who argue that the idea of School 2.0 is perhaps less about the technology itself and more about attitudes, philosophies and strategies. ISTE is the International Society for Technology in Education. Their annual meeting concluded yesterday with a “endnote” keynote presentation from Chris Lehman who took this stance.

Beyond Tools: Thoughtful 21st Century School Reform:

You might also be interested in his recent presentation on School 2.0: Creating the Schools We Need.

Or his TEDxNYED talk:

I’d like to take a minute to provide a few other selected resources to provoke thought on these issues in preparation for the conversation on July

ISTE School 2.0 Webinars:
ISTE School 2.0 e-Toolkit:

Social network for sharing with other educators about School 2.0:
School 2.0:

A list of social media resources being used in School 2.0:

A wonderful collection of resources on School 2.0 concepts & tools from Shamblesguru Voom, a.k.a. Chris Smith and his team at School 2.0:


2 responses to “School 2.0 & the Academic Digital Divide

  1. Sounds to be a rousing conversation. How does one participate again?


    • The Cool Toys tentative calendar for the year is posted here:

      Basically, all sessions are from 12 noon to 1pm in Room 100 of the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan. This one will be July 27, 2010: Identifying the Digital Divide on Campus. Notice the sequel in August, also: August 31, 2010: Equalizing Tech Skills for New Students.

      I’d also be delighted to have people post thoughts and comments here prior to the discussion. That might help shape the conversation a bit.


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