Making Technology More Accessible To More Students

Digital equality and digital equity were also terms our team heard again and again while connecting with educators at recent education conferences. As education changes and firms rise to the occasion, the new standard isn’t almost using tech to spice up learning gains (even though that’s awesome) but doing so in an exceedingly way that’s more accessible than ever before.

The Issue
First, we’d like to know – both as companies and a bigger education community – the problems we’re talking about. the primary is basic broadband access. A 2015 Pew report revealed that 15% of yank families with income between $30-50k a year don’t have access to the web. Once we think about mobile devices, we discover that 10% of USA citizens own a smartphone but don’t have the other style of high-speed internet access reception beyond their phone’s data plan. Similarly, U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data indicates that “5 million households with school-age children don’t have high-speed internet service reception.” in a very nutshell: access isn’t there yet. Digital equity isn’t there yet. And we’re seeing a giant homework gap thanks to it.

After we jump the net hurdle, there’s still the question of digital tools that boost learning gains and classroom connectivity. which does so in a way that’s beneficial to all or any students. this suggests freemium models, low-cost platforms and devices, smartphone-friendly programs, and tools that educators can use impactfully without a degree in instructional design.

Digital Equality vs. Digital Equity
Quick sidebar. We’re fascinated by exploring digital equity – how we engineer powerful learning experiences for all children that may yield identical learning outcomes and progress. Edtech is rising. It’s growing and doing more for schools. And we’re genuinely fascinated by being a part of that growth and alter. But after we innovate, we don’t want it to be for a picked few classrooms. we wish it to be for any student who may gain an advantage from what we’re doing. That’s why we were listening. That’s why recent pieces about homework gaps and also the digital divide have us being attentive.

A Few Ideas About What we will Do
We’ll get the conversation started. we are able to consider some of the things that companies like us will be doing to extend equity when our tools are given to a whole classroom. This includes designing tools that are mobile-friendly and software package agnostic. we’ve also found that creating tools that are free for teachers and students yields a chance to experiment, take risks, and ultimately find tech that’s the most effective match for his or her needs. And everyone before a penny is spent or processes are scaled to serve dozens of classrooms without delay.

Getting further into the weeds, we’ve considered ways we will ensure all students have a meaningful experience with a tool by making it easier to use. no matter a teacher’s comfort level with a platform, students should have impactful interactions with a tool across classes. A few more ideas? The way we see it, our companies will always be advocates of initiatives that expand digital access to any or all members of a faculty community. Examples include proposals from both the govt and personal sector to supply free internet access to all or any Americans. this is often awesome. So is this. All about it.