Nov 19 2011
Why the “App Gap” Matters
In her October 27, 2011, post on Edutopia’s blog, Audrey Watters wrote an entry titled “Should We Be Concerned about an “App Gap?” She commented on statistics from Common Sense Media that demonstrate an “app gap” is developing between children living in high income families and those living in low income families.
Watters wondered if this “app gap” is any different than our concerns over the “digital divide.” And she asks the question as to whether or not access to software on an iPad is superior to that of a PC.
Her question raises some important issues given some of the findings regarding mobile learning devices like iPads, iPods, iPod Touch and smart phones and their ability to personalize learning for a wide range of students.
Countless studies have demonstrated that student engagement in learning increases and that even our youngest students are able to learn basic skills more quickly with a portable, small device with touch-screen capabilities.
While sitting at a PC might work for some of our learners, educators know that all of students are uniquely designed and for a growing number of students mobile learning devices grant educational equity by providing access to and acceleration of the curriculum.
So yes, Audrey, we should be concerned about the “app gap.” It reminds us of our responsibility as a society to provide equal educational opportunities for every student in America and to be advocates for the same educational opportunities for children around the globe.