Four educational attainment, financial security, and subjective
Four billion people on this planet use a smartphone, butonly 3.5 billion use a toothbrush. Everypart of daily life is related to technology in one way or another. Humans are constantly evolving, and so is the technologyaround them.Socioeconomic status comprises not justincome, but also educational attainment, financial security, and subjectiveperceptions of both social class and social status.
With the world constantly changing, many people argue thataccess to digital technology, such as tablets and computers are beneficial,however, it not directly causing, but greatly deepening the social class dividein society.Defined by the American Psychological Association, “socioeconomicstatus is the social standing or class of an individual or group” (SocioeconomicStatus). It is often influenced andmeasured in combination with occupation, income, and education. Examinations of socioeconomic status often exposeshortcomings in access to resources, and problems related to power, privilegeand control (Socioeconomic Status). Sowhat accurately constitutes lower class, middle class and upper class? According to the Washington Times, there are at leasttwelve socioeconomic classes in the United States. The first level is generational poverty, which entails harshconditions of poverty “that may keep families from breaking the barriers forgenerations” (Scheffer). The working class generally has more stableemployment than the working poor, but similarly they still live paycheck-to-paycheck,and live in fear of being laid off.
The levels of middle class citizens range in differentcategories such as the risingfrom poverty middle class, illusory middle class, solid middle class, andmillionaire middle class. Those who have risen frompoverty have gained resources and education. The illusory middle classhave some luxuries such as houses, cars, and televisions, but struggle withstaggering debt associated with these possessions.
Typically,those in the solid middle class have their own homes, investments and/orbusinesses. The generationsto follow will most likely attend college and become professionals in theirfield of work (Scheffer). Billionaire David Tepperonce dubbed himself a “middle- class dad trapped in a rich man’s body” (Frank).In fact, it turns out most millionaires share similar feelings in regards towealth denial. According to the results of the third CNBCMillionaire Survey, 44% of millionaires described them as middle class (Frank). The millionaire middle class collectively hasa net worth over a million dollars but mentally has not recognized their wealth.
When it comes to the upperclass, there is the owning rich and the ruling rich. The owning rich have their ownincome-producing assets sufficient to make paid employment unnecessary. On the other hand, the ruling may livesecluded lives protected from the general public but actively hold positions ofpower and influence on society (Scheffer). The increasing dominance oftechnology does not directly produce income disparity, but enables amplifiedcompetence and affluence creation.
In recent years, there havebeen some strides made to aid those of low socioeconomic status from repeatingthis cycle. The “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” authorizes severalfederal education programs. Under this law, “states arerequired to test in reading and math for children in third grade, eighth grade,and once in high school.
The major focus of the ‘NoChild Left Behind Act’ is to close student achievement gaps by providing allchildren with fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-qualityeducation” (No Child Left Behind Act). The U.S. Department ofEducation highlights the four pillars of the bill to include accountability,flexibility, research-based education, and parent options. Each pillar has its own main objective, for example,accountability is associated with the confirmation that those students who aredisadvantaged to achieve academic proficiency (No Child Left Behind Act). This act hasbeen dubbed as controversial due to the resurgence of test-based schoolaccountability to sale across the United States. When President Bush signedthe “No Child Left Behind Act” into law, “the goal was to reach 100%proficiency rates in reading and math by 2014. Today, not only has thatgoal not been reached, no measurable progress in proficiency has been noted,nor is there any indication that the results will be any better in the futureunder present policies.
Failure to close theachievement gap will have devastating long-term consequences, including anunder-qualified, less competitive work force, and even an increase in racialtension as opportunities narrow for children of color ” (Woods).The 21st centuryhas had several monumental advancements for mankind. With this, technology in the classroom isbecoming more and more prevalent.
The impact that technology has had on today’s education systemand schools has been quite substantial. This widespread adoption oftechnology has completely changed how teachers teach, and how students learn. “Teachers are learning to incorporate today’s technology suchas tablets, iPads, Smart Boards, digital cameras and computers, while studentsare using advanced technology that impacts how they learn” (Rouse). A tablet is defined as a wireless portablecomputer that uses a touchscreen as its primary device input (Rouse).
The demand for specific devices is determinedby their versatility and high computing power compare students also with laptopsand traditional computers to the ease of use, portability and extended drawingcapacity to a sheet of paper. Tablets are easy, lightweightand can be carried todifferent locations by its users. Asthis technology enters an educational setting, it is important to consider theadvantages of using these devices.In order to teach subjects such as reading and mathematicsin an effective way, teachers need to create an environment that allows for themaximum learning opportunities for students.
Thisinvolves encouragement of self-directed learning and providing reasonable andtimely feedback. By encouragingand incorporating technology use in the classroom, students are being preparedfor a successful life outside of school. Accordingto a study by IT Trade Association CompTIA, around seventy-five percent ofeducators believe that technology has a positive impression on the educationprocess (Cox). One of the benefits of integrating technologyinto the education system includes, a current and more pleasurable approach tolearning for students. Studentsfavor technology because they deem that it makes learning more thoughtprovoking and enjoyable.
Subjectsthat students that consider certain subjects difficult or lackluster can becomemore motivating with virtual lessons, through a video, or when using a tablet. The use of technology also helps prepare studentsfor the future. “CompTIA’s study showed that nine out of ten students indicatedthat using technology in the classroom helps prepare them for the digitalfuture. These 21st century skills areindispensable in order to be successful in this day and age” (Cox). Many professions that may not have had digitalcomponents in the past have one now. Educationconsists only not vocabulary words and memorizing facts but solving complexproblems and being able to collaborate with others in the workforce. “Ed-tech” in the classroom formulates studentsfor their future and sets them up for this increasing digital economy (Cox).
Additionally, many students participating inthis study believe that technology helps them retain information more precisely. In another study, “eighteen second gradestudents were challenged to complete a PowerPoint project about an animal. Sixteen out of the eighteenstudents remembered more facts about the animal after completing thepresentation. Technology occupies an important place within students’ lives. When they are not in school, just about everything that theydo is connected to technology in some way” (Cox). Integrating technologyinto the schoolroom is crucial to a child’s social, emotional, and professionalopportunities. What occurs when those from lower socioeconomic status arenot exposed to these digital opportunities results in lower professional andsocial opportunity.
There has always beensocioeconomic inequality. Socioeconomic statuscan comprise quality of life aspects as well as the opportunities andadvantages afforded to people within society. “Dramatic technologicaladvances promise to help educators realize the ideal of equal educationalopportunity. Many people believe that with powerful and cost-effective technologies,minorities and poor children will be able to receive education of the samequality as their more fortunate peers. New computing andnetwork technologies can provide disadvantaged students with access toknowledge-building and communication tools, and they can have moreindividualized learning opportunities. However, access totechnology is not equitable across sociodemographic categories since it isdetermined by resources available to the schools, communities, and households”(The Impact of Technology). Poverty is not a single factor but rather is branded bymultiple physical and psychosocial stressors.
“Socioeconomic statusaffects overall human functioning, including physical and mental health” (TheImpact of Technology). Low socioeconomicstatus and its correlates, such as lower educational achievement, financialhardship, and overall poor well-being, ultimately affect society (The Impact ofTechnology). Students in these communities not only suffer from lack ofresources at home, but their schools must also scrape by on the bare minimum(Lynch). “New technologies seem to best accommodate those who alreadytake advantage of available educational opportunities.
It is possible though, that the use of these technologies mayexpand the educational gap in such way that ‘advantages magnifies advantage’ asthe fortunate benefit most from cutting-edge technologies whereas the needybenefit least” (The Impact of Technology). While more than ninety percent of lower income families haveaccess to the Internet, roughly a third of those rely on mobile devices to stayup to date and connected. “Even those with at-home computers are living ‘under– connected,’ with slow access and older machines shared by several people”(Jacobson).
Students are increasinglyutilizing technology and the Internet to research, keep up with assignments andto connect with teachers and peers, the discovery suggests that even withgovernment and public – private initiatives the substantial digital divide continuesto exist. “The quality of families’ Internetconnections, and the kinds and capabilities of devices they can access, haveconsiderable consequences for parents and children alike,” wrote authors VikkiKatz, an associate professor in the School of Communication and Information atRutgers University, and Victoria Rideout, a consultant and researcher (Jacobson).For decades the middle class has been the foundation of theUnited States. “The middle class seems to be disappearing and the gap is wideningbetween the upper class and lower class sectors of society” (Luhby). Research designates that children from low socioeconomic householdsand communities develop academic skills slower than children from a higherincome group. Middle class Americans now comprise less than half of thenations population down from 61% in 1971 (Luhby). There are many instances that prove the clear patternsof the unequal distribution of access totechnologies, including Internet access, computer and webTV ownership, andemail use. “To date, the digital divide issue has turned on the conceptof access.
Access has become a matter of social equity. Equal access to the technology and the skills to use it areincreasingly necessary for economic success. The rates of Internetaccess among individuals with high income and higher education are greater thanthe rates of those with low income and less education” (The Impact ofTechnology). There are several factors that contribute to lowsocioeconomic students in correlation with little success academically andprofessionally.
In early childhood, many low-income students are not exposedto technology or even books. “In low-incomeneighborhoods, there is one book per every 300 children contrasting withmiddle-income neighborhoods there are 13 books per one child. In homes where education is not a priority, high standardsneed to be set for students from birth where language skills, exposure, readingexpectations, a desire to learn, and a connection made between academic andfuture success” (Carter). Every year, 1.3 million students drop out of high school inthe United States. More than half are students of color, and most are lowincome (Sikhan).Those who achievehigher-level education from low socioeconomic status are typically first-generationcollege students. Many are admitted to college but are doingmath and reading at a remedial seventh or eighth- grade level.
In fact, “every year 1.7 million first-year students enteringboth two and four-year institutions will take a remedial course to learn theskills they need to enroll in a college-level course” (Carter). Minorities such as African Americans, Hispanics, and othersfrom low-income communities represent the largest populations of enteringcollege freshman who require remedial courses (Carter). With new computers and automation increasingly permeating notonly manufacturing but also services, those less familiar with technology areimmediately put at a considerable disadvantage financially and professionally. Today, the use of technology surrounds our everyday lives.
Access to this technology is critical; however, it is greatly deepening thesocial class divide in society. While it is tempting to dub technology as one of theprincipal culprits for the increase in social class inequality, blamingtechnology is simply an excuse to abdicate responsibility. Technology does notdirectly cause income disparity, but enables increased competence and wealthcreation. The real issue is how those choose to distribute the wealthand benefits of increased efficiency. Works Cited Carter, Carol J.
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