Article Summary #9: Multicultural Education and the Digital Divide: Focus on Race

Citation: Gorski, P., & Clark, C. (2001). Multicultural Education and the Digital Divide: Focus on Race. Multicultural Perspectives, 3(4), 15-25.

Word cloud of the article: Multicultural Education and the Digital Divide

Summary: This literature review examined the racial digital divide through a sociopolitical, multicultural education framework to capture the implication of the divide and provide recommendations for improving access for racial minorities. The authors split access to computers and to the internet to show that even those with computers may still not have internet access, creating more divides. Even at schools, universal access to computers, never mind the internet, had not been achieved and access clearly correlated with racial make-up of the students. They identified trends in usage for students and teachers that reinforced Eurocentric views in classrooms and schools that further alienate racial minorities. The authors provided the following research-based tactics to help bridge the divide: computer loan programs, afterschool computer programs, making students and family aware of low-cost access companies, and more equitable distribution of computer resources in schools. They addressed the structural issues to move the focus from private investment to more investment in computer and internet access from the public and more specifically, universities.  Such an alignment could improve multicultural goals and help shape students' outcomes to better align with the higher education.  Finally, the authors considered the training and resources afforded educators and how to make them more multicultural-centered rather than Eurocentric including how and why they use computers and the Internet.   

Keywords: digital divide, racial digital divide, widening gap, multicultural education, home computer access, home internet access,  Eurocentric, teacher development, university alignment

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