education, technology, and everything else

Dial-up: The New Digital Divide

Posted by Miranda on January 25, 2007

Ok, so the embedded clip from YouTube was fine at work where I have a broadband connection. In fact, I thought it was hilarious, that’s why I posted it and if you don’t agree, well I’m sorry for you.

But here’s what happens when I view this blog at home, where I have dial-up. I click the play button in the center and the video starts downloading. Now, I don’t sit there and wait for it, I’m not that silly, I know you have to cultivate a certain “attitude of Zen” with dial-up so I leave the computer and go heat up some leftovers for supper, feed the cats, eat supper, glance through the newspaper and 40 minutes later I come back to check it out.

And it’s still downloading, there’s about a quarter of it left to go. I’m lucky, I have two phone lines so my phone hasn’t been tied up all this time.

I have had this on my mind this week anyhow because of the fact that one of the faculty sent round an e-mail to all the other faculty warning them that a day student had been unable to access her homework assignment on the school website because she had dial-up. As it happens, I think that’s a fish story on the students part because I can access the school website perfectly well. I just have to be patient. But it does bring up the fact that even if a student has a computer at home it doesn’t mean that they will be able to easily access multi-media materials.

10% of the people that access our school website do so using a dial-up connection. In Vermont and New Hampshire, many, many areas do not have the option of a broadband connection. It is just plain not available to us. Satellite you say? Maybe, maybe. I can’t afford it myself. Even if I could afford it, there’s a hill behind me. We have a satellite for television which loses its reception when the leaves come out in May, we get TV back round the end of October.

So while multimedia can be a useful tool, don’t expect all your students to be able see your video clips. And here’s another news flash for ya: they aren’t going to be listening to your podcasts, either.

One Response to “Dial-up: The New Digital Divide”

  1. […] by Miranda on December 22, 2007 I’ve written about this before (Dial-up: the new Digital Divide)but am reminded again this morning by a post on our town list-serve, just how forgotten we are in […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: