Schools in Bad Areas Attempt to Close the Achievement Gap Between Rich and Poor with Technology; Instead, it Makes it Even Wider.

In the Kensington neighborhood within Philadelphia, money is weary in households. School officials in this neighborhood chose to implement technology in order to close the achievement gap between their neighborhood, which has been afflicted with poverty, and affluent areas. Their belief was that technology would give the opportunity to even the playing field for all involved. Unfortunately, the response they received was quite the opposite of what was expected.

Instead, the achievement gap between rich and poor became even larger. The reason for this phenomenon is due to the fact that kids in rich areas use computers different than kids in poor areas. According to Neuman and Celano, two researchers that have been involved in studying this "digital divide," the reason behind this involves the types of programs that children utilize. Kids in poor areas and kids in rich areas use different programs and engage in different mental processes. This is best described by the Matthew Effect, which states that those who take advantage of tools available to them early on will exponentially benefit from such tools. Thus, the kids of Kensington actually suffered. In conclusion, the achievement gap between these students will not be closed with technology, as one needs to be introduced to it early in order to reap the benefits.

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