Edtech Equity & Engagement Blog Series: Part 1 of 4 – Intro

Throughout the year as we experience distance and blended learning settings, we will be using educational technology to build our online instructional infrastructure. This will allow teachers to teach in both of these settings interchangeably and continuously as we have to navigate the instructional challenges due to the pandemic. This will be a challenge, but introducing teachers to equitable edtech tools, strategies, and lessons will provide a resource in addition to engaging ways to get students of all ages engaged in learning.

Ultimately, the goal of this blog series is to outline multiple edtech tools and platforms that teachers and schools can utilize to create equitable classrooms regardless of their educational setting. Furthermore, this blog series will go over multiple types edtech tools and platforms that provide equitable opportunities by providing several learning modalities for students to be engaged in learning to access the content and skills being taught. An analysis of how the tool is equitable will be discussed in addition to how instructional strategies can be aligned with the tool. Explanations will be provide when and why the tool is incorporated into different segments of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, which can fit any grade level or content.

Why is Equity Important

Equity is everything. We want to provide equal access to opportunities for all in any educational environment. Below is a short outline on how to cultivate equity within a classroom setting. We need to take much of what is discussed here and transfer it to an online setting as we will be providing A LOT of instruction online in distance and blended educational settings. 

 

Edtech and Equity

Edtech and equity is extremely important in the world we live in. We live in a world where information on any topic is just a click a way. But, students need to have access to it. Therefore, we need to provide our students with the hardware, software, and network access. Then, on top of the access piece, we must teach students how to best navigate and access the information found in digital environments. Much of what we do in online and blended learning settings cannot be done without these three major components in place. However, we must go beyond and discuss edtech tool equity. What is this and how does it apply to what we do as educators? 

Edtech Tool Equity

Edtech tool equity refers to creating an environment where students have access to learning the skills and content through multiple modalities. Learning modalities refer to students accessing the skills and content through listening, speaking, watching/doing, student collaboration, metacogntion practices, drawing, social emotional learning opportunities, and active overt and covert thinking. All of these modalities are key to student learning. It allows for students of all different backgrounds and learning needs access the contents and skills being taught by a teacher. It is absolutely critical that we have edtech tools in our classrooms that provide students multiple modalities of learning to access what is being taught. 

Conclusion

The goal of this blog series is to outline how a number of key edtech tools and platforms can provide equity to all students to access the content and skills being taught in a classroom. Each week a new tool or platform will be discussed, which will provide K-12 teachers and school leaders an opportunity to see how it provides equitable opportunities for all students to learn. This will be an exciting process and I cannot wait to analyze and review each tool to share how it can be equitable with the rest of the worldwide educational community. 

Note: To continue the conversation, please post a comment below on this post or interact with me on Twitter @mattrhoads1990.

 

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