Digital Divide/Digital Inequality

Click here to view my VoiceThread on Digital Inequality in the UAB Division of General Internal Medicine

I had always observed differential use of various technologies for teaching in my colleagues. Most use PowerPoint and have no great desire to try new things. I am just the opposite. I like trying new tools. That’s one of the reasons I decided to get this degree as I was using new tools with no understanding of why I was using them or how to evaluate if I was using them well.

Prior to this module I hadn’t really thought about the digital divide. I don’t think I had even heard of the concept. The mainĀ  readings focused too much on differences between developing and developed countries and that doesn’t interest me much. I can’t impact that in any fashion. What did interest me was Warschauer’s reconceptualizaton of the digital divide to include the human and social issues that impact the digital divide. The binary division of having or not having a piece of equipment doesn’t really get at the more complex issues of why a person chooses to use a computer or the internet and what they choose to do with those tools (e.g. playing a game or educating a friend on a topic from across the globe). The concept of digital inequality was even more fascinating as it put a name to observations that I had made. Hargittai’s approach to conceptualizing this allowed me to try and measure it (ever so crudely) in my division. I plan to present this data at our next faculty meeting and see what interest it sparks in them. Many still don’t see the utility of using “fancy tools” in education. The traditional nature of medical training can be hard to overcome for many, especially older faculty.

Using Google Slides was a useful exercise. I would not have used it otherwise. I like PowerPoint and Prezi. I have experience with them and can manipulate them more easily. I can see the utility of Google Slides as it is free and can be shared/accessed in Drive from anywhere (except where I work). I don’t plan to use Slides though in the future unless forced to. I don’t have access to it at the office and it doesn’t add any features over PowerPoint (other than sharing in Drive).

VoiceThread was not an optimal tool to use to give a presentation. I like to use screen capture software so that I can use animation in slides as I talk. I would really like to use VoiceThread at my institution to give feedback to learners on artifacts that they make. I have to read a lot of history and physical exam write-ups and have to use the comment feature in Word to give feedback. I would much rather use VoiceThread to give audio and written feedback. I will discuss this with the medical school to see if they will consider a 1 year trial of VT.

I don’t think these were my best slides. Too many words on them. I like to use fewer words and more pictures but being new to this topic I found it hard to find pictures that demonstrated what I wanted to say. If I had to change this presentation I would reduce the wordiness of the slides, introduce more pictures, and use simple animation.