5 things every educator should know about digital equity

Digital equity is easier to define than it is to solve. It’s about making sure students have equal access to technology like devices, software and the internet, and that they have trained educators to help them navigate those tools.

That can be a heavy lift when you consider all the types of students on the playing field – those from low-income districts or rural communities, kids with physical or learning challenges, and girls or minority students who are not getting the same opportunities and support that would set them up for careers in tech fields.  

“A lack of digital access is a lack of access to education period,” said Terry Godwaldt, director of programming at The Center for Global Education in Canada. 

Read these five articles to get a full picture of how digital equity affects living and learning for a broad spectrum of students.

  1. No internet at home? Tap into your community to narrow the digital divide. When schools implement 1:1 computing initiatives that allow students to bring devices home, they often neglect a crucial component: internet access outside school hours. Learn how Rowan-Salisbury schools in North Carolina partnered with stakeholders in the community to narrow the digital divide.
  2. Ensure equity in your BYOD classroom. BYOD programs, which allow students to bring their tech from home, are proliferating in the U.S. But not all students have laptops, tablets or smartphones with unlimited data plans. Professor and ISTE author Liz Kolb shares tips on how to connect learning with any phone.
  3. Maker movement: Bridging the gap between girls and STEM. Lisa Abel-Palmieri, a former director of technology and innovation at an all-girls school in Pittsburgh, explains how maker education is allowing girls to learn and apply STEM skills to solve problems, while developing dexterity, teamwork and ideation skills.
  4. 27 tools for diverse learners. Educators Luis Perez and Kendra Grant share more than two dozen Universal Design for Learning tools to make classrooms more flexible, accessible and personalized.
  5. How digital equity can help close the homework gap. Authors Keith R. Krueger and Marie Bjerede share some surprising ways that edtech affects achievement and the successful approaches savvy districts are using to close the homework gap.

This is an updated version of a post that originally published on Jan. 15, 2016.

April is Advocacy Month. Join the ISTE Advocacy Network to find out how you can make your voice heard for edtech!