SSU Works to Bridge the Digital Divide - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/25/03

SSU Works to Bridge the Digital Divide

Dr. Emily Crawford Dr. Emily Crawford

It's a fact that today's technology has changed the workplace, as well as everyday society. Sadly, economic disparity has meant that many Americans have little access to the new tools of the trade, like computers and the internet. It's the so-called digital divide that has created an extra challenge for many trying to break into today's wired workforce.

But one local university is committed to making sure its students are not at risk. Educators at Savannah State University say, regardless of your economic background or exposure to technology when you enter the school, you'll be up to speed by the time you graduate.

SSU's VP of academic affairs, Dr. Joseph Silver, Sr., says it's the school's responsibility to produce technology-literate graduates. "It is extremely important that all of society can move forward, somewhat on the same pace, to have access to the technology, and that's my biggest concern," he told us.

In fact, the university's offered incentives for educators to increasingly integrate technology into their courses, like Dr. Emily Crawford's web-enhanced marketing class. She earned one of SSU's teaching and learning grants, and uses the internet extensively to add to her student's learning experience. "What it does is enhances what I teach," she explained. "Give them outside work to do. I'm able to go on the web, look at their work, and type in comments about their work and send it back to them."

Dr. Crawford was recently recognized by the National Urban League for a marketing course she developed as part of an initiative to bridge the digital divide at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Her marketing students say the wired classroom gives them the edge in their field, since it allows quicker access to timely information. As student David Van Wilson told us, "Marketing cycles can be fast in certain areas and certain industries, and for us to look at how they did it in 2000, 2001 versus 2003, it may be totally different."

Dr. Silver says these efforts have bridged the digital divide at SSU and will keep it bridged among his graduates. "So now they are living in a facility which is closely associated with technology," he said. "When they leave this campus, when they go to their apartments, go to their homes, I can rest assure you that they're going to make sure that those same accommodations are a part of their lifestyle."

You can find out more about SSU's programs--and even apply to the university--online.

Reported by: Charles Gray, cgray@wtoc.com

 

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