How do you ensure equitable digital access in your classroom?
Today’s modern age of technology is hard for teachers to keep up with. With everything from twitter to Facebook, the technology is expanding quickly and we cannot stay ahead of the technology. With this rise in technology, teachers are being asked to incorporate it more and more into their daily class schedule. While being asked to use their digital equipment, parents and students have a hard time keeping up at their house. The expense that some parents have to pay for the technology is not reasonable, and they cannot afford it; therefore, we have to make time in the class day to give all students the opportunity to catch up on work that has to be done on the computer.
The best way to make sure all students get equal chance at computer and internet is to give the kids class time. Let students have time to work on their classwork in the class that requires the use of computer and internet. When you have numerous students, but limited computers at school, divide the students into groups and have each of them a scheduled time to be on the computers when they are in your class. Sometimes, if it is an absolute necessity, you can ask an elective teacher to pull them out in their class. It is not an ideal situation, but if it cannot be avoided it has to be tried. If it is far enough advance, the kids can set it up in advance with the teacher before or after school to work on the work in the library or in the teachers’ class. ()
The best way to make sure all classes have equitable time to use the technology is by use of an online calendar, or a calendar that is up in a lounge for teachers to sign up on. Some schools have the luxury of a computer lab, chrome book cart, or Mac cart. With these type of technologies, it is best to have a calendar for the teachers to sign up to use in their class to help with all kids getting a chance to use the internet. Like mentioned earlier, sometime librarians are lenient and will help with getting kids access to the computer and internet. They can set up a time in advance to work on homework or assignments in the library before or after school. There are always ways to make sure that students get an equal chance to do work in school if they do not have opportunity at home.
The use of technology is an increasingly important aspect of public education. Technology in the classroom is important as a tool to enhance the learning experience and as an area of expertise in which students need to achieve competence. Ensuring high quality and fair access to technological tools is a critical challenge that educators must face. For the purpose of this webpage, we will limit our focus to the use of technology within the classroom. The issues surrounding the fair use of technology in the classroom may be distilled to two main areas of concern: access to hardware and fair schedule for the use of technology. These concerns should be viewed through the lens of the school’s Acceptable Technology Use Policy. ()
Students should have access to appropriate hardware of similar capabilities. To best support technological competence, all students should be allowed access to the highest quality hardware possible. The simplicity of this principle belies the difficulty of implementation. Fair access and high quality may be in conflict. Even in “one to one” schools there will always be some students who have newer or higher performance hardware. To uphold this standard it is necessary to tailor tasks to fit universally available hardware or provide additional access to hardware to balance any relative disadvantage between students.
In order to ensure equitable technology access the teacher should have a plan for its use and class time will need to be allotted for use of technology. Many students will require prompts for technology use. For students with limited personal household access to technology this is particularly vital. Some hardware will have limited availability by its very nature. This is as true for digital technology as it is for microscopes and dissection specimens. ). When hardware is limited ensure a schedule is maintained to give equal access. Depending on the classroom environment, it may be useful to forbid the use of technology altogether or specific types of technology during certain times. Students should be allowed discretion in their use of technology to support different learning styles. However, Students must also develop discreet competencies with specific types of technology. To help the balance these goals, consider allowing a portion of time for the open use of technology of the student’s choice and a portion of time for more structured technology use.