Used Cell Phones For Low Income Families
52% of children between the ages of 5-8 have used a cell phone or iPad, but split that into two groups based on income level, and suddenly a disparity appears. Less than a third of low income families have a smart phone, while over a third have low income parents don’t know what an app is. That means a significant proportion of kids haven’t used cell phones by the time they start school.
Cell phones can be used as a diversion, as an educational tool, and as a way to introduce technology to kids. Low income kids who haven’t used cell phones, however, face a disadvantage.
Schools serving income-disadvantaged children have long since been taking measures to improve the technology available at home. Free dial-up internet (with instructions and school support to help parents), as well as refurbished computers have been supplied through charitable programs, but as new technology appears, not all programs are keeping up.
Used & refurbished cell phones are another step that schools will have to take. Schools have already begun using cell phones in class rooms, both letting kids participate through text, and introducing educational apps, much the way that educational computer games were played in the 90s.
Affordable, and certainly donatable, used cell phones should be collected and distributed through schools so that young kids are introduced to technology early on, as well as able to fully participate and interact with their peers. If kids are communicating through chat, it’s easy to see how economic segregation might quickly occur.