Seiter: A Pessimistic, Yet Realistic Essay Regarding Technology

Although I would agree with Seiter that economic disparities will greatly diminish a student’s ability to become proficient with technology, I am not certain that remedying that specific category will really provide the solution for which we are searching.  She presents the startling evidence of those who are at the bottom of  the socio-economic spectrum and their small probability of gaining the computer proficiency that they need to succeed.   She presents the problems yet neglects to provide some hint of a solution.  What if our country were to realize a true and equitable distribution of wealth? What if our country were to dramatically decrease the number of citizens who lacked the computer hardware, broadband access, and software updates?  Would this solve the problems she enumerates? I would suggest that it would not, for the two other categories from Bourdieu , that of cultural and social capital, will provide roadblocks that money cannot solve by itself.   Even if every American student had a sufficient amount of technology in his or her household, a lack of cultural capital will present some tremendous obstacles to that student.  If a child’s parents are interested in going to NASCAR races or enjoy the local demolition derby, the probability of that child having aspirations of attending a top 20, or even a top 40 university, is nearly nonexistent.   How do we change this?  And do we really want to change this in all circumstances?  Of course we want to decrease the social and financial inequalities in the country to the best of our ability.  But we should seriously reconsider the notion that a person without a diploma and broadband access is below our esteem and cannot share the worth of a college graduate.

1 comment for “Seiter: A Pessimistic, Yet Realistic Essay Regarding Technology

  1. mcalou
    October 29, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Seiter also talks about the chasm that technology advance is leaving. The chasm between the have and the have nots. When I read this article the first thought that came to mind was of the class system in Europe in the 18th century. This chasm or gap of wealth caused revolutions (in America and Europe).
    I agree that not every student is college bound and Seiter offers no compelling solution to the social or cultural capital disparity. However, she makes a good point about technological advances happenning so rapidly that it is almost impossible for students to keep up. School alone will not provide a narrowing of that gap: in a few years there may not even be a public school system anymore. The problem of technological disparity is minor compared to the current chasm in public education; between the administration of the educational system and the teaching going on in the system.
    In conclusion, I agree with your argument that Seiter does not provide solution, however maybe one of the points she is making is that a dialogue needs to exist, particularly among teachers, about what is happening in public education right now.

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