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Promoting Digital Equity and Digital Inclusion

 

2/22/22


     What is digital equality and digital equity? Digital equality refers to giving everyone access to the same thing. For example, giving every student an Ipad whether they have one or not is digital equality. Digital equity refers to helping everyone gain access to technology that does not have it. For example, giving Ipads to those students who do not have one would be aiming for digital equity. 

 

     In today’s society access to technology is vital. It has influenced the way we function and live in society. Digital technology has changed the way we communicate, make appointments, how we find and receive information, etc…… Therefore, it is important for school systems to promote digital inclusion by taking steps toward digital equity to prepare students for the outside world. While there are plenty of positives and negatives to technology, our jobs as educators are to prepare students to be successful in life. 

 

    I think back to March 13, 2020, when my school system shut down for the rest of the school year due to Covid-19. Teachers scrambled to find ways to keep students engaged, learning, and working for the rest of the school year. I was not prepared for distance learning nor were many of my coworkers. Those three months rocked me! I was concerned about my students missing out on learning opportunities. There was no digital equality or digital equity in my school system. A number of questions ran through my mind: “How will I reach my students that do not have computers and internet access?, Will my students be prepared for Kindergarten?, What kind of activities can I do and send to my students to keep them learning?”. Well, what I thought would last for three months would last through the next school year. Starting the next school year, our school system was more prepared to give the older students Chromebooks and Ipads for the younger students. They also gave out hotspots to those that did not have access to internet service. I was so proud of my school system for being prepared.  

 

     I know some school systems are still having problems accommodating technology in the classroom and outside the classroom. There are plenty of resources, grants/funding programs, and local resources that school districts/teachers could research to ensure digital equity for students. I have listed a few different resources below. 

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                    Resources

                                                       Educational Technology Grants: Where to Apply and How

The Digital Equity Act

Teachers Get Funded

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author

Rae Darbonne a teacher in St. Landry Parish.             

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