This week in one of my graduate courses, we are focusing on issues of equity with respect to technology integration. I know I have greatly struggled with this for years in my own classroom. Many of my students do not have Internet access at home other than their smart phone. Since not everything is mobile-friendly, this can put them at a severe disadvantage to peers who have a computer with Internet access at home. There are more free resources available online than ever - many created for the purpose of helping students who cannot afford paid resources. Are they actually helping to close the gap? Like Justin Reich speaks about in the video below, these free resources seem to be less effective than desired with respect to closing the achievement gap. Watch his video below.
Personally, I have avoided using digital resources with my students that would give an unfair advantage to students without a computer and Internet access at home. If you can't view it on a smart phone, I don't use it. Below is a list of some of the things I do use, since they are mobile-friendly.
I consistently ask myself, "Am I being too sensitive to this issue? Should I be using more resources?" I'm not sure one way or the other and I have found myself feeling the need to stick to my core value of equity. What do you think? What are you doing in your classroom to ensure students have the resources to be successful without unintentionally giving some a disadvantage? Please write your comments below.
Mattea Garcia is a passionate educator dedicated to improving instruction by utilizing technology. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.