Poor access, no access


Being poorly connected to the internet is so frustrating. I have my usual collection of mobile technologies in a place with no wifi and a weak phone signal. A dongle and a wifi hub are offering intermittent connections but the laptop doesn’t like the wifi and the dongle offers one bar out of a potential five. The mouseover message informs me connection is poor.  As if I need reminding. Sitting in the furthest corner of the smallest bedroom, next to the window, I can access email.  If I’m patient I can get onto the university blogs. That should say very patient. Downloading sites reminds me of the days when you could click a document link, make a cup of tea, and it would still only be two thirds of the way through. Images reveal at the rate of one pixel line at a time. But I’m lucky. These frustrations are temporary; inconvenient but not permanent. To be honest, this needs to be a compulsory staff development activity for everyone who works with educational technology and takes fast connections for granted. One a year for at least a week they should be forced into digital wastelands and made to try and do their work in places like these.   The more we become dependent on reliable internet access, the risk of exclusion being invisible increases. Ultimately the only way to remind ourselves of the tragedy of digital exclusion is to experience it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *