Digital Equity in Education and our role in making it fair

Digital equity is about providing all communities with access to information technology. Access for entertainment, education, employment and other essential services. Access so that when children grow up they are digital literate.

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Having access to digital tools also allows for digital creativity, which as users of blockchain technology ourselves, we know is essential for participation in society.

The problems are many depending on your viewpoint. Within western countries the problems can be access to the right technology at the right time. Now just access to the Internet via a mobile device, but access to devices that can be used for creation and innovation.

Looking further afield the problems are with access to quality Internet and perhaps access to any digital tool fit for purpose.

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It is important to be mindful, when in education, that we are facing a digital divide. A divide that may go unnoticed at first but with some digging we find issues. Spend time speaking to students about what access they have and what tools they are using. Also, discuss with the students what support they have at home, it may be that some families feel overwhelmed with technology and are needing more support from educators and those on the front line.

As an example, I work in an affluent private school. I had assumed students would be well of in terms of their access. Overtime and through many conversations it has become evident that about 25% of my students don't have access to a laptop or a computer. This means that they are completing and submitting homework on iPads and perhaps other tablets that are not fit for this purpose. Even in this well-to-do school we must work to provide equal access for our students so that they don't fall into the wrong part of the digital divide.


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