What IS equitable Digital access?
Equitable digital access is when every student has the same opportunity to use technology in their classroom. No matter what socioeconomic status the school may be in, all students should have digital access. Students should be engaged in digital learning through diverse technological devices, and software to enhance learning and prepare students for an uncertain future.
Digital access can prepare students for jobs and careers that do not yet exist! Technology is already surrounding our students and is in almost every part of the world. Technology literacy has become almost as crucial as reading literacy. Also, many students have digital access at home and feel that their learning at school is limited when there is no digital access.
Click the link below to watch a video of a nine-year-old student who wishes everyone had digital access.
In the next video, a traditional teacher takes the steps to fully integrate digital access in her classroom. Click the link below to watch the video.
The lack of digital access and technology instruction for millions of students has created a digital divide. Some schools have no digital access, while others have a 1:1 student to technology ratio. In addition to equitable access, students also need instruction on how to use technology. Teachers will need to become familiar with the devices in order to teach students about usage and digital citizenship.
As you can see in the above graph, having resources is the main reason for not having digital access in schools. With digital access being as necessary as other academic content, teachers and schools struggle to find funding to afford tablets, laptops, and even computers. Teachers also struggle with insufficient IT (technical) support, access to the internet, and lack of time in their day to implement technology in their plans.
The following video highlights some repercussions of not having equitable digital access:
Here are some helpful tips to help incorporate more technology in the classroom:
- https://www.donorschoose.org/ is a website that allows teachers to ask the public for project funding. Teachers receive donations for things, such as tablets and other devices to add in their classrooms.
- Bring your own device (BYOD) allows students to bring devices they may have at home to use in the classroom.
- Look for community resources near your school and see about starting a fundraiser for technology. If you educate the community about why digital access is crucial, more people will be willing to help provide what you need in the classroom.
- Take inventory of what you have available at your school. See if teachers can share devices and create a sign-up calendar.
- Placing students into groups and having rotations so that all students can use the technology you have available.
Our classroom uses center rotations so that students take turns using the technology centers. There are other centers
happening in addition to the ones with technology. We have a center-rotation chart, so students can visually see where their group rotates next. Every group has access to technology every day.
Our center rotation chart:
|group 1||group 2||group 3||group 4||group 5|
(n.d.). 5. How do you ensure equitable digital access in your classroom? - DigitalKnowledge 505. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/digitalknowledge505/5-how-do-you-ensure-equitable-digital-access-in-your-classroom
(n.d.). Barriers to Integrating Technology - The Digital Librarian. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/thedigitallibrarian/barriers-to-integrating-technology
Hwang, K. (2019, August 21). 4 Ways to Improve Digital Equity in Your Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/articles/4-ways-to-improve-digital-equity-in-your-classroom
(2018, April 10). The digital divide encompasses more than access. Retrieved from https://www.teachingquality.org/the-digital-divide-encompasses-more-than-access/