Washington, D.C.–An examination of issues related to digital equity in education–that is, equal access to technology, resources and services–has been released by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE(r)). The report, "A National Consideration of Digital Equity," is an outgrowth of last year´s Digital Equity Summit at ISTE´s National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) and is part of an effort to broaden awareness of digital equity issues and provide resources to educators and policy makers.
The report, prepared by ISTE in collaboration with Macro International, includes an overview of the 2006 summit and data from a subsequent survey of summit participants. It also recommends the following five strategies to help make progress toward digital equity:
1. Legitimize the significant role culture plays in students´ educational experience.
2. Continue to challenge perceptions about the role of technology in education.
3. Encourage others to recognize the critical link between technology, professional development and classroom practice.
4. Create opportunities for students to access technology outside the classroom.
5. Continue to seek funding for technology in spite of challenges.
According to Trina Davis, Ph.D., incoming president of ISTE, "ISTE´s 2006 Digital Equity Summit and this report have rekindled a powerful dialogue for making digital equity a national priority. Now we have an ongoing venue in which to discuss key issues, share proven and scalable solutions, and mobilize key stakeholders to take action."
Donald Knezek, Ph.D., CEO of ISTE, notes that, "Over the years, ISTE has hosted summits and symposia to help build leadership capacity; make the home, school and community connections; sustain digital parity for economic inclusion; and assess critical dimensions and solutions of the digital divide."
"A National Consideration of Digital Equity" anchors the agenda for ISTE´s 2007 Digital Equity Summit, to be held June 23 in Atlanta. This year´s summit is being sponsored by Intel Education and Pearson Education, and will convene community, state, and national leaders to discuss digital equity issues and challenges. The report and details about the 2007 Summit are available at www.iste.org/digitalequity.
ISTE is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education.