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Four educational attainment, financial security, and subjective

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Four billion people on this planet use a smartphone, but
only 3.5 billion use a toothbrush. Every
part of daily life is related to technology in one way or another. Humans are constantly evolving, and so is the technology
around them.
Socioeconomic status comprises not just
income, but also educational attainment, financial security, and subjective
perceptions of both social class and social status. With the world constantly changing, many people argue that
access to digital technology, such as tablets and computers are beneficial,
however, it not directly causing, but greatly deepening the social class divide
in society.

Defined by the American Psychological Association, “socioeconomic
status is the social standing or class of an individual or group” (Socioeconomic
Status). It is often influenced and
measured in combination with occupation, income, and education. Examinations of socioeconomic status often expose
shortcomings in access to resources, and problems related to power, privilege
and control (Socioeconomic Status). So
what accurately constitutes lower class, middle class and upper class? According to the Washington Times, there are at least
twelve socioeconomic classes in the United States. The first level is generational poverty, which entails harsh
conditions of poverty “that may keep families from breaking the barriers for
generations” (Scheffer).  The working class generally has more stable
employment than the working poor, but similarly they still live paycheck-to-paycheck,
and live in fear of being laid off.

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The levels of middle class citizens range in different
categories such as the rising
from poverty middle class, illusory middle class, solid middle class, and
millionaire middle class. Those who have risen from
poverty have gained resources and education. The illusory middle class
have some luxuries such as houses, cars, and televisions, but struggle with
staggering debt associated with these possessions.
Typically,
those in the solid middle class have their own homes, investments and/or
businesses.  The generations
to follow will most likely attend college and become professionals in their
field of work (Scheffer).  

Billionaire David Tepper
once dubbed himself a “middle- class dad trapped in a rich man’s body” (Frank).
In fact, it turns out most millionaires share similar feelings in regards to
wealth denial. According to the results of the third CNBC
Millionaire Survey, 44% of millionaires described them as middle class (Frank). The millionaire middle class collectively has
a net worth over a million dollars but mentally has not recognized their wealth.

When it comes to the upper
class, there is the owning rich and the ruling rich. The owning rich have their own
income-producing assets sufficient to make paid employment unnecessary. On the other hand, the ruling may live
secluded lives protected from the general public but actively hold positions of
power and influence on society (Scheffer). The increasing dominance of
technology does not directly produce income disparity, but enables amplified
competence and affluence creation.

In recent years, there have
been some strides made to aid those of low socioeconomic status from repeating
this cycle. The “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” authorizes several
federal education programs. Under this law, “states are
required to test in reading and math for children in third grade, eighth grade,
and once in high school. The major focus of the ‘No
Child Left Behind Act’ is to close student achievement gaps by providing all
children with fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality
education” (No Child Left Behind Act). The U.S. Department of
Education highlights the four pillars of the bill to include accountability,
flexibility, research-based education, and parent options. Each pillar has its own main objective, for example,
accountability is associated with the confirmation that those students who are
disadvantaged to achieve academic proficiency (No Child Left Behind Act).

            This act has
been dubbed as controversial due to the resurgence of test-based school
accountability to sale across the United States. When President Bush signed
the “No Child Left Behind Act” into law, “the goal was to reach 100%
proficiency rates in reading and math by 2014. Today, not only has that
goal not been reached, no measurable progress in proficiency has been noted,
nor is there any indication that the results will be any better in the future
under present policies. Failure to close the
achievement gap will have devastating long-term consequences, including an
under-qualified, less competitive work force, and even an increase in racial
tension as opportunities narrow for children of color ” (Woods).

The 21st century
has had several monumental advancements for mankind. With this, technology in the classroom is
becoming more and more prevalent. The impact that technology has had on today’s education system
and schools has been quite substantial. This widespread adoption of
technology has completely changed how teachers teach, and how students learn. “Teachers are learning to incorporate today’s technology such
as tablets, iPads, Smart Boards, digital cameras and computers, while students
are using advanced technology that impacts how they learn” (Rouse). A tablet is defined as a wireless portable
computer that uses a touchscreen as its primary device input (Rouse). The demand for specific devices is determined
by their versatility and high computing power compare students also with laptops
and traditional computers to the ease of use, portability and extended drawing
capacity to a sheet of paper. Tablets are easy, lightweight
and can be carried to
different locations by its users. As
this technology enters an educational setting, it is important to consider the
advantages of using these devices.

In order to teach subjects such as reading and mathematics
in an effective way, teachers need to create an environment that allows for the
maximum learning opportunities for students. This
involves encouragement of self-directed learning and providing reasonable and
timely feedback. By encouraging
and incorporating technology use in the classroom, students are being prepared
for a successful life outside of school. According
to a study by IT Trade Association CompTIA, around seventy-five percent of
educators believe that technology has a positive impression on the education
process (Cox). One of the benefits of integrating technology
into the education system includes, a current and more pleasurable approach to
learning for students. Students
favor technology because they deem that it makes learning more thought
provoking and enjoyable. Subjects
that students that consider certain subjects difficult or lackluster can become
more motivating with virtual lessons, through a video, or when using a tablet. 

The use of technology also helps prepare students
for the future. “CompTIA’s study showed that nine out of ten students indicated
that using technology in the classroom helps prepare them for the digital
future. These 21st century skills are
indispensable in order to be successful in this day and age” (Cox). Many professions that may not have had digital
components in the past have one now. Education
consists only not vocabulary words and memorizing facts but solving complex
problems and being able to collaborate with others in the workforce. “Ed-tech” in the classroom formulates students
for their future and sets them up for this increasing digital economy (Cox).

Additionally, many students participating in
this study believe that technology helps them retain information more precisely. In another study, “eighteen second grade
students were challenged to complete a PowerPoint project about an animal. Sixteen out of the eighteen
students remembered more facts about the animal after completing the
presentation. Technology occupies an important place within students’ lives. When they are not in school, just about everything that they
do is connected to technology in some way” (Cox). Integrating technology
into the schoolroom is crucial to a child’s social, emotional, and professional
opportunities.

What occurs when those from lower socioeconomic status are
not exposed to these digital opportunities results in lower professional and
social opportunity. There has always been
socioeconomic inequality. Socioeconomic status
can comprise quality of life aspects as well as the opportunities and
advantages afforded to people within society. “Dramatic technological
advances promise to help educators realize the ideal of equal educational
opportunity. Many people believe that with powerful and cost-effective technologies,
minorities and poor children will be able to receive education of the same
quality as their more fortunate peers. New computing and
network technologies can provide disadvantaged students with access to
knowledge-building and communication tools, and they can have more
individualized learning opportunities. However, access to
technology is not equitable across sociodemographic categories since it is
determined by resources available to the schools, communities, and households”
(The Impact of Technology).

Poverty is not a single factor but rather is branded by
multiple physical and psychosocial stressors. “Socioeconomic status
affects overall human functioning, including physical and mental health” (The
Impact of Technology). Low socioeconomic
status and its correlates, such as lower educational achievement, financial
hardship, and overall poor well-being, ultimately affect society (The Impact of
Technology). Students in these communities not only suffer from lack of
resources at home, but their schools must also scrape by on the bare minimum
(Lynch). “New technologies seem to best accommodate those who already
take advantage of available educational opportunities. It is possible though, that the use of these technologies may
expand the educational gap in such way that ‘advantages magnifies advantage’ as
the fortunate benefit most from cutting-edge technologies whereas the needy
benefit least” (The Impact of Technology).

While more than ninety percent of lower income families have
access to the Internet, roughly a third of those rely on mobile devices to stay
up to date and connected. “Even those with at-home computers are living ‘under
– connected,’ with slow access and older machines shared by several people”
(Jacobson).  Students are increasingly
utilizing technology and the Internet to research, keep up with assignments and
to connect with teachers and peers, the discovery suggests that even with
government and public – private initiatives the substantial digital divide continues
to exist. “The quality of families’ Internet
connections, and the kinds and capabilities of devices they can access, have
considerable consequences for parents and children alike,” wrote authors Vikki
Katz, an associate professor in the School of Communication and Information at
Rutgers University, and Victoria Rideout, a consultant and researcher (Jacobson).

For decades the middle class has been the foundation of the
United States. “The middle class seems to be disappearing and the gap is widening
between the upper class and lower class sectors of society” (Luhby). Research designates that children from low socioeconomic households
and communities develop academic skills slower than children from a higher
income group. Middle class Americans now comprise less than half of the
nations population down from 61% in 1971 (Luhby).

There are many instances that prove the clear patterns
of  the unequal distribution of access to
technologies, including Internet access, computer and webTV ownership, and
email use. “To date, the digital divide issue has turned on the concept
of access. Access has become a matter of social equity. Equal access to the technology and the skills to use it are
increasingly necessary for economic success. The rates of Internet
access among individuals with high income and higher education are greater than
the rates of those with low income and less education” (The Impact of
Technology).

There are several factors that contribute to low
socioeconomic students in correlation with little success academically and
professionally. In early childhood, many low-income students are not exposed
to technology or even books. “In low-income
neighborhoods, there is one book per every 300 children contrasting with
middle-income neighborhoods there are 13 books per one child. In homes where education is not a priority, high standards
need to be set for students from birth where language skills, exposure, reading
expectations, a desire to learn, and a connection made between academic and
future success” (Carter).      

Every year, 1.3 million students drop out of high school in
the United States. More than half are students of color, and most are low
income (Sikhan).

Those who achieve
higher-level education from low socioeconomic status are typically first-generation
college students.  Many are admitted to college but are doing
math and reading at a remedial seventh or eighth- grade level. In fact, “every year 1.7 million first-year students entering
both two and four-year institutions will take a remedial course to learn the
skills they need to enroll in a college-level course” (Carter). Minorities such as African Americans, Hispanics, and others
from low-income communities represent the largest populations of entering
college freshman who require remedial courses (Carter). With new computers and automation increasingly permeating not
only manufacturing but also services, those less familiar with technology are
immediately put at a considerable disadvantage financially and professionally.  

Today, the use of technology surrounds our everyday lives.
Access to this technology is critical; however, it is greatly deepening the
social class divide in society. While it is tempting to dub technology as one of the
principal culprits for the increase in social class inequality, blaming
technology is simply an excuse to abdicate responsibility. Technology does not
directly cause income disparity, but enables increased competence and wealth
creation. The real issue is how those choose to distribute the wealth
and benefits of increased efficiency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Works Cited

Carter, Carol J. “Why Aren’t Low-Income
Students Succeeding in School?” The

 

Huffington
Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 Mar. 2013,

 

www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-j-carter/why-arent-low-income-

 

stud_b_2909180.html.

 

Cox , Janelle. “Benefits of Technology in the
Classroom.” TeachHUB,

 

www.teachhub.com/benefits-technology-classroom.

 

“Education and Socioeconomic Status.” American
Psychological Association,

 

American
Psychological Association,

 

www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/education.aspx.

 

Frank,
Robert. “Most Millionaires Say They’re Middle Class.” CNBC, CNBC, 7 May

 

2015, www.cnbc.com/2015/03/29/is-technology-contributing-to-increased-

inequality/

 

“The Impact of Technology
Use on Low-Income and Minority Students’

Academic
Achievements”. Mississippi State
University,

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c628/7502607153d29d306001f784d6339f4

61f97.pdf

Jacobson, Linda , and Roger
Sutton on November 30, 2017. “Many Low-Income

 

Families
“Under-Connected” to Internet, Survey Finds.” School Library Journal,

 

11
Feb. 2016, www.slj.com/2016/02/research/many-low-income-families-under-

 

connected-to-internet-survey-finds/.

 

Luhby
Tami. “Middle Class No Longer Dominates in the U.S.” CNNMoney, Cable

 

News Network ,
money.cnn.com/2015/12/09/news/economy/middle-

 

class/index.html.

 

Lynch, Matthew. “Poverty and School Funding:
Why Low-Income Students Often

 

Suffer.” The
Edvocate, 6 Feb. 2016, www.theedadvocate.org/poverty-and-
 schoofundingwhy-low- income-students-

often-suffer/.

 

“No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.” Office
of Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1

 

Jan.
2011, www.k12.wa.us/esea/NCLB.aspx.

 

Rae Scheffer, Donna. “Can you name the U.S.
socio-Economic levels?” The

 

Washington
Times, The Washington Times, 31 Dec. 2014,

 

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levels/.

 

Rouse, Maragret. “What is tablet (Tablet PC)? –
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WhatIs.Com.” SearchMobileComputing,

 

searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/definition/tablet-PC.

 

“Socioeconomic Status .” American
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Psychological
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Sikhan, Khara. “Low-Income students six times
more likely to drop out of high

 

school.” World
Socialist Web Site, World Socialist Web Site wsws.Org

 

Published
 by the International Committee of the
Fourth International

 

(ICFI),
10 Apr. 2013, www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/10/hsdo-a10.html.

 

Woods, Allison. “The No Child Left Behind Act: Negative
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Socioeconomic
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