ERIC Number: ED497214
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
A National Consideration of Digital Equity
Davis, T.; Fuller, M.; Jackson, S.; Pittman, J.; Sweet, J.
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report, "Computer and Internet Use by Students in 2003" (NCES, 2006) reveals that the digital divide continues to exist, particularly along demographic and socioeconomic lines. Though an exact definition remains elusive, the term "digital divide" generally refers to the disconnect that occurs between those with access to technology and those without, while recognizing that myriad factors can have a direct impact on that inequity. Digital equity is defined as equal access and opportunity to digital tools, resources, and services to increase digital knowledge, awareness, and skills. When considering the role of technology in development of the twenty-first century learner, digital equity is more than a comparable delivery of goods and services, but fair distribution based on student needs. The International Society for Technology in Education hosted a Digital Equity Summit at the 2006 National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), addressing four critical dimensions of the digital divide in education: (1) Professional Development; (2)Leadership and Support; (3) Infrastructure and (4) Teaching and Learning. Through this report, the following questions are answered: (1) What are the critical issues pertaining to digital equity; (2) What are the challenges to digital equity and what solutions are being sought; (3) What are the essential components for creating an environment that supports digital equity; and (4) What principles are necessary to move toward digital equity. The report concludes with five strategies participants identified 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 of the classroom and (5) Continue to seek funding for technology in spite of challenges. (Contains 2 footnotes and 2 figures.) [The Digital Equity Summit was sponsored by: Audio Enhancement: Discovery Education; Intel Education: Pearson Education and Thinkfinity.org.]
Descriptors: Student Needs, Computer Uses in Education, Professional Development, Educational Experience, Educational Opportunities, Educational Technology, Access to Computers, Socioeconomic Influences, Cultural Awareness, Financial Support
International Society for Technology in Education. 480 Charnelton Street, Eugene, OR 97401-2626. Tel: 800-336-5191; Tel: 541-302-3777; Fax: 541-302-3778; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.iste.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: International Society for Technology in Education, Eugene, OR.; Macro International, Inc., Calverton, MD.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Equal Access