“Mankind owes to the child the best that it has to give.” With these words, on September 26, 1924, the League of Nations adopted the Geneva Declaration. This Declaration on the Rights of the Child is the first international statement that recognizes specific rights of the children and pointing out the responsibilities of adults (Oliver, 12/12/2011).
The world has broadly accepted that education is an inalienable right of children. In my most recent IAE Newsletter, I briefly present the idea that home and school access to the Internet and the Web for educational purposes is fast becoming a new inalienable right of all children (Moursund, 4/30/2020, link).
The Internet and Web are now an integral component of a modern educational system. I strongly believe that for children living in economically advantaged countries such as the United States, computer and connectivity access at home and in school should be considered an inalienable right (Moursund, 10/21/2018, link).
It has been quite a while since I have written an IAE Blog entry. I have two excuses. First, the Blog system IAE is using was not functioning properly. Second, I got tied up in (deeply engrossed in) other writing projects. I am writing a book tentatively titled ICTing and Mathing Across the History Curriculum. The target audience is preservice and inservice K-12 teachers of history. In this book I explore ways that these teachers can integrate uses of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and mathematics into their history lessons in a manner that will help to improve history education for their students.
In addition to these somewhat weak excuses, I have been deeply troubled by the Coronavirus pandemic. At my age, there is a very good chance that contacting the disease would be fatal. It appears that I need to remain quarantined until an effective vaccine is developed.
I also am quite disturbed by the impact of the Coronavirus on education at all levels. Just today, for example, I read about some states starting to reduce their funding for higher education. In recent years, funding for higher education in many states has not come near to meeting the increasing costs. Thus, tuition has been going up and up. I am especially concerned that these changes may make college less accessible to many students from low income families.
I believe that our precollege education system has done a remarkable job in adjusting to school closures due to the Coronavirus. However, we have learned how difficult it is to provide a good at-home education using the facilities and materials that are currently available. We also have learned that most teachers, parents, and children were not adequately prepared for what we have attempted to implement.
On a more optimistic note, educators throughout the world are learning that ICT can and should be an ongoing component of education. It seems clear that more and better ICT materials will be developed in the future, and that improved education for preservice and inservice teachers will help these teachers as they work in an environment where ICT materials are routinely available.
The Coronavirus pandemic with its school closures and home schooling has made it clear that there are extensive education-oriented inequalities in the United States and throughout the world. For many years, people have noted the inequalities of access to books in homes. An Internet connected computer is a natural and now common extension of hardcopy books and other print material, and lack of this online access has now become another serious inequality for many students. As noted in my opening paragraph, I firmly believe that home and school access to the Internet and the Web for educational purposes is fast becoming a new inalienable right of all children.
What You Can Do
Insist that students in your local area have the ICT facilities, both at home and in their schools, that are necessary to make ICT a routine and ongoing aid to the curriculum content, instructional processes, and assessment for every student. Learn about the uses of home and school ICT facilities so that you can provide the level of at-home learning help for your students and/or for your own children that you previously have been able to provide before the Coronavirus pandemic began..
References and Resources
Moursund, D. (4/30/2020).Introduction to ICTing and mathing across the history curriculum. Part 8. IAE Newsletter. Retrieved 4/30/2020 from https://i-a-e.org/newsletters/IAE-Newsletter-2020-280.html.
Moursund, D. (10/31/2018). Inalienable rights of children. IAE Newsletter. Retrieved 4/27/2020 from https://i-a-e.org/newsletters/IAE-Newsletter-2018-244.html.
Oliver (12/12/2011). Mankind owes to the child the best that it has to give. Humanium. Retrieved 4/30/2020 from https://www.humanium.org/en/give-child-best-2/.
United Nations (n.d.). The Foundation of International Human Rights Law. Retrieved 4/29/20 from http://www.un.org/en/sections/universal-declaration/foundation-international-human-rights-law/index.html.