April 24, 2017
Technology is supposed to make life easier. Whether it’s an artificially intelligent virtual assistant keeping track of your schedule or a timer on your microwave, there’s no point in progress if it’s just going to make things harder. However, in the edtech world, the advancements made to educational technology has left a certain group of students behind: immigrants.
According to some recent research, immigrant students are having trouble keeping up with all the edtech changes happening in the world today. This is made infinitely worse in Hispanic families headed by immigrant parents, as they have no role model to walk them through these quickly changing trends.
“Lower-income families of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have less access to the internet and digital devices than higher-income families,” wrote the authors of the study. “Hispanic families headed by immigrant parents face particularly acute challenges.”
As the infographic below points out, 20 percent of Hispanic immigrant students have parents that do not go online on a regular basis. These numbers are staggering compared to the minuscule numbers of black (2 percent), white (4 percent), and US-born Hispanic students (4 percent). To make matters even more complicated for immigrant students, 44 percent of their parents don’t use computers at all, which again, compared to the black (17 percent), white (17 percent), and US-born Hispanic (19 percent) students, is far too high.
That statistic alone should be cause for alarm, as more and more students are being asked to take tests, complete homework, and work with other students through programs only available online. Asking a parent for help with long division is one thing; but asking a technology-challenge parent to navigate edtech platforms is not only difficult, but down right impossible.
Fortunately, despite being unable to help their children with edtech assignments, immigrant parents understand that technology is the key to their child’s educational development. It’s no secret that understanding technology is going to make life a whole lot easier in the future, and these parents are working to guarantee their kids aren’t left behind.
There are a number of other significant statistics that came out of this study, including the fact that only 35 percent of Hispanic immigrant students live in homes with access to a broadband internet connection, which is less than half of every other demographic. If you want a more in-depth look at what challenges immigrant students are facing, check out the infographic from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center below:
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