28 Days of Teens & Tech #4: What’s the Digital Divide?

I get frustrated sometimes when talking with librarians that work with teens and they tell me, “We can’t use that (insert the name of a technology) with teens because our computers won’t load it.” Or, they might say, “We can’t use that (insert the name of a technology) with teens because it’s blocked in our school.” Or, they might tell me, “We can’t use that (insert the name of a digital device) with teens because not everyone has those at home.” Or they might say…. I could give you several more excuses, oooops examples, but I won’t.

What makes me so frustrated is that in many instances, what librarians say to me does amount to a load of excuses. I know that they aren’t lying, but, really these reasons shouldn’t be accepted and librarians should be regularly working to change the “can’t'” to “can.” What happens when we just have a load of “can’t” is that teens in those schools and libraries end up being on the “wrong” side of the digital divide. And, from what I hear and see in libraries and with teens, this is a really serious digital divide that we are creating. It’s not a digital divide of have and have nots based on family/home economics. It’s a digital divide of haves and have nots based on how well teens are able to access current technologies in their libraries and learn how to use those technologies with the help of teachers and librarians. Continue reading 28 Days of Teens & Tech #4: What’s the Digital Divide?