How Can the Digital Divide in Education be Eliminated?
Celebrating the leaders and experts that are powering education into the future, host JW Marshall sets out to ask the “right questions” in EdTech to understand the changes in policy and technology that will power our universities, tradeschools, and companies – and drive growth in upskilling certifications.
Now that school districts have been in the remote space for over a year, what did the industry learn? And how can those learnings improve the future? Voices of eLearning tackled the subjects with a prominent voice in the sector, eSchool News editor Kevin Hogan. Hogan is also a fellow podcaster on the show EdTech Today.
Hogan has been covering the space for years and noted that school districts accelerated adoption of technology, a vertical that was typically 10 years behind corporate adoption.
So, what did they learn from this acceleration? “2020 was a year of triage and keeping schools connected of schools. Now, we have lessons learned and can apply them,” Hogan said.
However, the landscape in the U.S. education system is complex. “There are 15,000 school districts with their own school boards, bank accounts, strategies, and challenges,” Hogan noted.
Hogan commends school districts for “stepping up” and trying to close the digital divide during the pandemic.
Hogan and Marshall also discussed social-emotional learning and student mental health, which had greater prominence during the pandemic. “Using technology in video calls creates this strange intimacy, and once you get comfortable, students can express themselves more,” Hogan added.
According to what Hogan’s hearing from districts, video call platforms for guidance counselor conversations are likely to stay. They simply work and offer a less stigmatizing experience than going to the principal or guidance counselor’s office.
Another change that has value to impact the future is recognizing parents. “Parents are now included in the conversation and are much more involved, and that’s a net positive to the situation,” Hogan said.