Mimi Ito is shocked — shocked! — that “open educational resources” and online courses are mostly serving already wired, well off, and highly educated families:
I’ve seen this dynamic again and again in my research on ed tech, where well-meaning tech folks are creating goodies theoretically accessible to everyone, but they end up giving more advantages to kids who are already well on their way to being digital elites.
I can’t possibly imagine why this would be. I’m glad Ito gives us the correct answer:
When you’re a kid whose main point of access to the net is your mom’s smartphone, and your only broadband is at your school or library, it’s tough to make it through a series of Kahn Academy videos or a Udacity course on your own to become an awesome coder. And, you probably don’t have coder friends or much as far as school offerings in the digital arts or programming in these days of dwindling school budgets.
As we all know, it would be literally impossible to learn to code, let alone get a Computer Science degree, without owning your own computer and having lots of friends from your same background who code. Impossible.