What I am about to write is nothing new....many colleagues in my personal learning network have made this point before, and I think it's worth illustrating again.
Today I took my 7 year old son to a doctor's appointment with a specialist as Henry has had some ongoing GI issues. The doctor, whom I'm guessing is in his early 50s, adeptly pulled up a digitized xray of Henry's abdomen, zoomed in and explained what's been going on with Henry as he pointed to the xray. It seems we've been fortunate enough to see several doctors over the last few years who are practicing in places where access to digital xrays is possible; I am not sure this is the norm everywhere. The xray in a regular doctor's office definitely helped illustrate the medical problem to me, and I also noticed that the doctor was fairly comfortable navigating in this technology. I wondered if the hospital had provided training, if he had figured it out on his own, and if he had been reluctant at first to learn this. Clearly, learning how to access and review digital images was not optional for this doctor and this led me to wonder what the driving force was when technological change came to this doctor's office.
That said, I'm going to echo what Joyce Valenza pointed out so well about librarians a few months ago. Why is it optional for educators to use technology effectively to support instruction? Why do we coddle teachers who claim that they can't or won't cope? What kind of professional would dismiss the power of technology in light of the growing evidence that it engages kids, provides differentiation, and allows for collaboration? I know teachers are burdened with a great deal, but let's not use that as an excuse for not raising our professional standards.
The other thing that occurs to me now as I write... I'm fairly certain there are hospitals out there that don't have the technological capabilities of the one I visited today. It makes me wonder about how technology could impact the quality of medical care out there. The digital divide is not just limited to education most likely.