The Global Digital Divide: Access, Meaning, and Empowerment
Roy Weaver, Prof. Jerome Ulman.
For nearly a decade, Ball State University Teachers College has sought to make knowledge meaningful and accessible to learners who might
otherwise be denied access. Viewed as a moral obligation, efforts have
been made to provide low cost, high quality educational programming
through satellite broadcasts and video streaming. Illustrations of this
programming will include electronic field trips and academic coursework
for P-16 audiences and families.
With such educational advances come a number of moral and political
issues. First, realizing their potential globally requires that people
have an adequate living standard, sufficient leisure time, certain
prerequisite skills, and access to computers capable of high-speed
transmission of digitized information. Given the deepening economic
problems worldwide, how will such conditions be met? Second,
internationally, regardless of intent, will such electronically
“exported” educational experiences be viewed with suspicion as an
extension of "Yankee imperialism"? Third, how will educational content
be shaped by the social context within a given country? To be
meaningful, education must create the possibilities for society as a
whole to advance. Yet, in societies governed by the demands of the
market place, education is molded largely to the needs of the
workplace. What about motivating people to broaden their scope, to
become citizens of the world? Overall, the potentialities that digital
educational technology makes possible have an inherent dynamic for
social transformation, bringing to the fore the question of whether
education is a commodity for the few or a basic right for all.
Roy Weaver (United States)
Ball State University
Roy Weaver is Dean, Teachers College, Ball State University, a position he has held since 1993. For 10 years prior, he was associate dean. From 1975-80, he was a faculty member in curriculum at the University of Southern California. Currently, he serves as chair of the Indiana Professional Standards Board.
Prof. Jerome Ulman (United States)
Professor of Special Education
Ball State University
Jerome D. Ulman (Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Southern Illinois University, 1972) is Professor of Special Education at Ball State University where he teaches courses in applied behavior analysis and behavior disorders. He is President of the International Society for Behaviorology and Associate Editor of Behavior and Social Issues. His research interests include behavioral interventions in schools, research methodology, and philosophical issues in behavioral science.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)