Page 33 - Volume 6 - Issue 1 - DBU Journal for K-12 Educational Leadership

Journal of K-12 Educational Research 31 FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE SECOND DIGITAL DIVIDE IN LOW SOCIOECONOMIC AREAS: A CASE STUDY OF TEACHER TECHNOLOGY PERCEPTIONS Ashley Parks, EdD Journal of K-12 Educational Research 2022, VOL. 6, ISSUE 1 Introduction Technological advancements and world pandemics such as COVID-19 have led to school transformations focusing on learning through digital devices. Due to this swift transition, digital equity is becoming a widespread issue. Districts must move past the first digital divide, which focused on the “haves and have nots” and instead bring greater attention to the second digital divide (KinshukHuang et al., 2013). This divide focuses less on access and more on how the technology is integrated into the classroom to transform student learning (Reinhart et al., 2011). Problem Though the same technologies are used within schools, digital equity remains an issue because affluent schools tend to use technology more progressively than schools of poverty (Reich & Ito, 2017). Reich (2019) suggested that even when access gaps close, affluent and white students are more likely to use technology as a transformative tool, increasing collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication. In contrast, students in low socioeconomic areas utilize technology for routine and drills. Rafalow (2018) observed that students were treated differently for the same technology use behaviors depending upon socioeconomic status. In affluent areas, students were celebrated when they played around with computers, dabbled in maker activities, and hacked systems because the teachers were able to acknowledge “connections between digital play and future opportunities in a digital workforce and civic sphere” (p. 32). In low socioeconomic schools, some educators viewed minority students as slackers, and adults reprimanded their online behaviors. Summary of Literature Review Digital Divide Digital inequities are prevalent in areas of low socioeconomic status as these families are less likely to have technology in their homes, which widens the accessibility gap (Attewell, 2001). Though the same technologies are used within schools, inequities still exist because affluent schools tend to use technology more progressively than schools of poverty (Reich & Ito, 2017). The first digital divide focuses on disparities in income which limits families from buying new technologies. In contrast, the second digital divide identifies usage and levels of integration amongst affluent and low privilege schools (Attewell et al., 2003). Levels of technology usage within schools determine the output of educational benefits. There is a universal gap between how students utilize technology in different communities (Attewell, 2001; Reich, 2019). Leaders must move past thinking of digital equity as technology availability and broadband access and focus on innovative methods to integrate technology into the curriculum to move from low-level to high-level usage (Smith, 2018). Technology Integration Frameworks Technology integration frameworks, models, and matrices assist leaders with identifying teacher and student behaviors that yield to the facilitation of greater use of high-level integration practices (Davies, 2011). The goal