Summary of Eliminating the App Gap

Prensky, M. (2012).  Eliminating the App Gap.  Educational Technology

Retrieved from http://marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky-EDTECH-EliminatingtheAppGap-Jan-Feb-2012.pdf

Marc Prensky explores an important aspect of the growing number of “apps” available to students.  Why and how should the gap between students with access to these “apps” and those who do not have access be eliminated?

Apps are an excellent tool to engage students in learning.  Students can learn a second language, build their math skill competency, and explore geography at the touch of a screen button.  Another benefit of using apps as educational tools is their cost.  The cost of the device, such as an iTouch, plus the cost of apps, which are often free, are less than the cost of buying books and laptops.  Lastly, apps can be used to supplement any content area or subject with up to date, engaging information.  Students can also use them to explore personal interests in learning, something textbooks do not allow.  In conclusion, Marc demands that teachers should get on board the app train and contribute to the elimination of the “app gap”.

            This article reminds me of Prensky’s article, Digital Native, Digital Immigrants, because of the urgency he expresses.  In both articles, he outlines the reasons why teachers need to adapt to 21st century learners and if they do not change, the divide will grow between teachers as well as the students.  I see the divide between teachers in my own school and am looking forward to being a part of 21st century model of teaching and learning.

Summary written by Courtney Snyder

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4 Comments

by | June 12, 2012 · 8:13 pm

4 responses to “Summary of Eliminating the App Gap

  1. spahnsocialstudies

    This topic is intriguing, much like the digital divide concept. With a specific focus on apps, Prensky once again shifts the focus to schools. Does he argue for school adoption of iPods/iPads? It is exciting when the cost of devices, apps, and e-books are compared to the cost of text books. Schools can by copies of text’s for as little as $9.99, but they cannot volume purchase books, which pushes a 1:1 student to iPad ratio critical. It would also be interesting to see what the maintenance costs of iPads are and how the maintenance costs/schedule add to the cost of the technology.

  2. kyank16

    I think we will always struggle with the haves and the have-nots. Also, I think it is important that we are willing to adapt and change as teacher (or as life-long learners) so we do not become out of touch.

  3. I want to know more about the “how” of Prensky’s ideas in this area. What can a classroom teacher do to remedy the situation?

    • Prenksy encourages school boards to recognize the cost difference, customization, and relevance between text books and educational applications.

      A classroom teacher could take the data that Prensky has provided in regards to cost and present it to their local school board, grant foundation, or parent advisory council. Perhaps the teacher could ask for a few devices to use in the classroom for the first year and do action research that would create data to support more devices the following year. The action research question would be, how do education applications improve student learning? Data could be collected through intereviews of students as well as their parents. Surveys could also be conducted to gauge student engagement and interest. Another aspect may include comparing basic technology related skills at the beginning of the year and the end of the year. These skills could be specifically geared to “lifelong” skills that students will need to succeed in our exponentially growing technological society.

      My district is adopting the initiative of BYOD…Bring Your Own Device. This would help students who don’t have devices, have access to the tools at school. The students wouldn’t have to share or limit their time using educational technology. I consider this initiative a way to help reduce the ‘app gap’.

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