One of the greatest tasks of an educational technology leader is to be certain that all students have access to resources and technological applications, regardless of socioeconomic background, culture, or gender. We see students each day with limited resources, who simply do not have access to, or familiarity with technology outside of school. For this reason, I feel it is vital to provide access to the technology used elsewhere in the schools, since these students require additional assistance, rather than less. One method of leveling the playing field, is through free programs, and services, such as Open Source applications. Another manner in which to provide additional technology is through grants, and involving the community and local businesses. In these times of economic hardship, many families have to make tough decisions to provide for basic needs of the family.
Ellit Solloway in his presentation ” The Digital Divide: Leveling the Playing Field” suggests that cell phones can level the playing field for a segment of society who lacks the means to access internet. This may well be true, and there are many interesting, enjoyable and useful programs created as “apps” for cell phones to make them well worth having. This seems especially geared toward higher education, when students are older, and most students have access to cell phones. However, cell phones are also expensive, so that a large number of middle and high school students still do not have a basic cell phone, no less one with additional service, to include internet access.