As I meet with team leaders in my suburban Chicago school district, I ask: What is your department doing to create equitable and inclusive learning conditions for all of our students?
It’s a complicated question in the age of COVID-19. As we discovered in the spring, some families still lack the devices or broadband connectivity they need for remote learning, despite mobile computing being a ubiquitous facet of our lives. That sad reality had school districts scrambling to provide devices and broadband access to students when the pandemic originally closed schools.
But as educators know well, access to technology alone doesn’t create educational equity–a theory proven by recent testing data: Across the country, nearly one-third of students returned to school in the fall below grade level in reading and math despite the widespread use of education technology by districts in the spring. Edtech can’t prevent a student’s race or socioeconomic status from contributing to his or her academic success. And it certainly doesn’t guarantee high-quality learning experiences.
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