Ong Finds Digital Divide in Remote Learning Access

Paul Ong, director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at UCLA Luskin, spoke to the education news site The 74 about students with limited internet and technology access who are falling behind in remote classes. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also cited a UCLA report authored by Ong, which found that nearly one in three American households had limited computer or internet access this fall. Students of color, students with disabilities, students learning English and students from low-income households are more likely to fall on the “wrong side of the digital divide,” making it harder to access classes, engage with peers, and complete and upload assignments. “You can think about all of these things that by themselves may not seem absolutely fatal, but collectively it has this cumulative effect that eventually leaves certain students behind,” Ong explained. While the report does not focus on the effects of limited access, Ong noted that the implications are clear and concerning.

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