1.2: What is the Digital Divide?
Now that you’ve had a chance to think deeply about one standard (or more!), let’s back up and learn why ISTE standards matter today for ensuring equitable student learning. One of the many emergent constraints COVID-19 has introduced to classroom instruction has been the increased reliance on technology to deliver instruction, creating a wider digital divide for students from under resourced backgrounds.
However, the digital and technology resource divide is not a new phenomenon facing school-aged children of color and children experiencing poverty. A recent study found that, nationally, around 17% of children are unable to complete their homework due to limited internet access. This “digital divide” and often resulting “homework gap” mirrors trends where about 1 in 6 school-aged children lack access to the internet at home.
The equity implications of these gaps and impacts on learning have been brought into sharper focus as schools and districts across the state grapple with the COVID-19 crisis. The ISTE standards work to democratize access to technology in education. Let’s explore how these standards address this urgent need.
- First, read this Schoology blog that explains the ISTE student standards and why they’re important for student learning.
- Independent reflection question: As you’re reading the blog post, reflect back on your Jamboard interpretations of the standards. How closely do these explanations align with your initial understanding of the standards?
- Next, read this ISTE blog post on digital equity and how the teaching and use of technology in instruction becomes a matter of equity and educational opportunity.
- Independent reflection question: How does the ISTE student standards bridge inequitable gaps in student learning? How does it impact teacher instruction?
Bonus points: Read this EdSurge blog post with recommendations on how to use ISTE standards to establish an agenda for the future of learning.
Direct link to Schoology blog post: https://www.schoology.com/blog/understanding-iste-standards-students
Direct link to ISTE blog post: https://www.iste.org/explore/theres-more-digital-equity-devices-and-bandwidth
Direct link to EdSurge blog post: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2021-01-25-this-is-the-moment-for-states-to-design-the-future-of-education