The Digital Divide: Gender Equity in Online Learning Applications

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Session Description
What is the “digital divide”? Is this “divide” dissipating with the advent of new educational technology, or, perhaps, increasing? This general session seeks to explore access to interactive technology, with an emphasis on online educational gaming and the digital divide, specifically focusing on interactive elements in the humanities field. As a point of emphasis, the presenters will use case studies from one course at Kaplan University, “20th Century Art and Humanities”. Gaps in access consistently originate with income, race, and education levels, contributing to concerns with self-efficacy which, in turn, may create barriers in utilizing technology for educational purposes. Students may also lack the ability to effectively use technology to improve educational opportunities, thereby furthering the divide. As part of this presentation, the presenters seek to encourage conversation regarding an understanding of what the term “digital divide” entails, as well as how multimedia tools can also enhance student interaction and both accessibility to, and comprehension of, humanities course content. This presentation aims to create dialogue regarding how, with useful and comprehensible course content and unlimited access to information, it is possible to cultivate engagement in online undergraduate courses, and subsequently, empower students, particularly in humanities courses, in the pursuit of degree and career advancement.
Jennifer Harrison, Kaplan University, USA
Crystal Hofegartner, Kaplan University, USA

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