Earlier this week, we begun talking about digital inequality as it relates to connectivity, and how communities can begin to address and solve this societal issue. Today, I want to talk at large about the importance of providing technology to all students to aid in the learning process.
As schools start to move towards new models of learning and teaching, we’re seeing an inequitable division forming as a result of some students not having access to personal devices, extended learning resources or the Internet. This lack of accessibility has great consequences not only on the students’ ability to acquire knowledge, but also for the affect on continued education and workforce experience.
Learning is more than just the acquisition of knowledge. It’s about the process of discernment, and the application and the synthesis of the material. For students to be able to personalize and be in control their learning, they need to have equitable access to the resources that technology provides.
Technology must be inherent, even before a child enters school. In the past, a student’s readiness for kindergarten was based on whether he/she had any knowledge of the alphabet, or knew how to properly hold a book. Today, children are judged based on whether they know how to hold a device, search on a device or use a device for learning.
The importance of technology continues through high school, college and into the workforce. If students don’t have equitable access to technology, it comes to the surface as they move along the education continuum. Technology defines their success in research capabilities, in solving real world problems, and in making career choices. Technology is the enabler and the tool in which we can demonstrate, think and move our society forward.
It’s vital that we address the use of technology in education and work to make it equitable and accessible for all students. School districts and communities must commit to making technology readily available, and seamlessly integrate it into all aspects of learning and teaching.
As a technology company, we have the tools in place to drive necessary change. We are looking to address this issue and working to resolve it in school districts and communities around the world.
E-rate modernization has also been a positive step forward in helping to determine what is feasible to address digital inequality.
As we provide equitable technology and connectivity for all students, we can begin to bridge the digital inequality gap and allow students to drive their own education and learning.