4 Ways to Improve Digital Equity in Your Classroom

(Image credit: Common Sense Education)

From inconsistent homework policies to a perceived lack of empathy and understanding from their teachers, the students were coming at the digital equity issue from a whole different angle.

As a former middle school teacher who taught in a lower-income, majority-minority school equipped with lots of “high tech” tools, I often wondered about equity when it came to edtech. For me, students’ access to tech at school wasn’t the issue. However, I knew that things were a lot different once students left my classroom.

1. Seek first to understand.

Recognize your students’ current tech capabilities and their concerns. Consider using a survey at the beginning of the year to get a baseline understanding of your students’ access to tech. Make sure to let your students know you’ll use the results to inform your teaching (and that their answers will remain confidential to their peers). While you may have strong rapport with your students, don’t assume too much —

2. Try it out!

It may seem obvious, but before giving assignments on a new platform or app, try it out for yourself! A lot of times, things we’d never assume could go wrong actually do. But trying out the experience beforehand — just as students will — can help us catch some bugs before we turn students loose. And it gives us some valuable insight into what students will experience in our classes.

3. Create a tech equity vision with your students.

What exactly is a “tech equity vision“? It’s a fancy way to describe the act of involving your students in conversations about how tech use happens in your classroom (and beyond). What better way to elevate student voices and partner with students on how to use technology for teaching and learning? Ask questions like, “What do we use technology in the classroom for?”;

4. (Re)consider your homework policies.

One student on the panel shared that his teacher had an “Absolutely No Late Work” policy, and when he couldn’t turn in an online assignment due to lack of access at home, he simply received a zero on the assignment. Another student shared that her teacher gave a week between assigning online homework and turning it in, which allowed for more flexibility in finding access to a network.

The information for this post was taken from an article by Kaili Hwang in TECH&LEARNING, follow this link for more details and the complete article.