Digital Equity

CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) and MindRocket Media Group Launch New Podcast Series to Support K-12 EdTech Leaders in the Digital Age

CoSN and MindRocket Media Group today launched The CoSN Podcast, designed to digitally support K-12 school district technology leaders with timely insights from recognized experts in the field. The first episode is available now on all major platforms and features an interview with Beth Holland, CoSN Project Director — Digital Equity and Rural Initiatives.
 

Digital Equity: You Can't Improve What You Don't Measure!

In Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better, the authors assert that it is not possible to make improvements at scale without first measuring the outcomes of smaller changes. In other words, without embedded measures in programs, it is not possible to intervene, anticipate, or understand if a change ultimately leads to systemic improvement.

Adventures In Accessibility

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to lead a 90-minute workshop on Digital Equity at the CAST's Annual Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Symposium. In preparation for the event, CAST held a presenter’s webinar to explain how to ensure that our presentations would be accessible to ALL participants. In addition to reviewing the UDL Guidelines for Expert Learners, CAST explained the myriad considerations for accessibility.

Five Opportunities to Tackle Digital Equity at the Start of the School Year!

When the Beaverton, Oregon School District first rolled out their 1-to-1 program in 2014, they did not realize that the technology could inadvertently disadvantage some of their most vulnerable students. Unaware that all students did not have equitable Internet access at home, teachers became frustrated with missing assignments and lack of collaboration. However, beginning with the diligent work of the Digital Equity Brown Bag Lunch Group, the district implemented a number of programs to bridge the emerging homework gap.

Chocolate Cookies, Pizza & Screen Time

The other night, we had pizza and wings for dinner. The night before, my husband and I each ate six, fresh-baked, chocolate chip cookies. Not fresh-baked in that we actually made the dough, but at least all hot and melty because we put the pre-cut dough balls on a cookie sheet and popped them in the oven. Some people may be totally grossed by our apparent lack of nutrition and poor food choices. However, the cookies accompanied a dinner of roasted chicken (which I did bake) and salad. I also walked the dogs for four miles that day and went to the gym.

1:1 Program Designed to Create Equitable Learning

Each year, CoSN’s Withrow CTO Award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of district Chief Technology Officers whose leadership has helped to transform their system. This year’s recipient, Phil Hintz from Gurnee School District 56 in Illinois, exemplifies the characteristics that the award intends to honor. His team’s successful 1:1 iPad initiative has resulted in higher test scores, a decrease in discipline issues, and declining absentee rates.

How Vancouver Public Schools Designed their 1:1 Program with Equity in MInd

Three years ago, CoSN created the Community Leadership Award for Digital Equity to encourage, promote, and honor districts working to reduce inequities resulting from the Digital Divide. As an organization, we define Digital Equity as access to devices and high-speed Internet as well as the promotion of Digital Literacy. Thus, the Community Leadership Award recognizes districts that address all three pillars within their community.

Digital Equity Initiative Toolkit

Students without home access to high-quality broadband connectivity are at a disadvantage, unable to realize the full power of digital learning. Only 3% of teachers in high-poverty level schools said that their students had the digital tools necessary to complete homework assignments, compared to 52 percent of teachers in more affluent schools—a discrepancy labeled as the "homework gap."

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