Holmes students rewarded with laptops

admin | 2/1/2012, 7:30 a.m.

Initiative aims to close digital divide

Last week students at Holmes Elementary school were given the gift of technology. In an effort to close the digital divide each of the schools more than 525 students received their own laptop. I am very excited about getting my laptop today, said Rodrick Altidor, a 10-year-old Holmes fifth grader. By getting this computer I think that I will learn a lot of different educational things. I like technology a lot. My favorite part about technology is that it helps me to prepare for my future. The XO laptops, specially designed for primary school children, were provided by the One Laptop Per Child initiative, with $245,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.We believe that in todays world if you dont have equal access to technology and if youre not connected to what is happening you really get left behind, said Jorge Martinez, director of information systems for the Knight Foundation. We saw this as a great opportunity to make sure that the really bright and eager minds here at Holmes have the opportunity to explore and be a part of the 21st century like everybody else. The digital divide refers to any inequalities between groups, in terms of access to, use of, or knowledge of information and communication technologies. In addition to the laptops, One Laptop Per Child is providing in-house training at the school for parents, teachers and students on how to use the computers to advance students learning. The computers are equipped with tools that allow students and teachers to work more closely together. In real-time, students can follow their teachers work on their laptop or work collaboratively on projects. This was an issue of moral equity for us, said Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent. It was imperative for us to insure that these boys and girls have the same access to digital content and resources as anyone else. Randy Gricergrice@miamitimesonline.com