As we continue to explore innovative strategies to create digitally inclusive programs, let's take this month to discuss digital equity.
- How are you leveraging technology resources to aid students?
- How are you building partnerships to expand digital access?
I'm looking forward to the conversation.
I invite you to review this brief 5 minute video discussing digital equity. This idea presents digital equity in a three pillar approach: access to high-speed internet, access to devices and digital literacy. One key point that I took away from this video is the homework gap. Are we designing our instructional programs with an unintentional consequence of leaving students who lack digital / technology access behind?
- What questions does this video prompt?
- What solutions are you focusing on to improve access?
I'm looking forward to this discussion and your comments / questions / ideas!
Digital equity is a very nuanced discussion. This ISTE article highlights some core principles for consideration and discussion.
From the article,
Digital equity is easier to define than it is to solve. It’s about making sure students have equal access to technology like devices, software and the internet, and that they have trained educators to help them navigate those tools.
That can be a heavy lift when you consider all the types of students on the playing field – those from low-income districts or rural communities, kids with physical or learning challenges, and girls or minority students who are not getting the same opportunities and support that would set them up for careers in tech field.
I invite you to review the article and share your thoughts.
Kathy, thanks for kicking off this discussion! National Skills Coalition has published several reports with information about US workers' digital skills and the ways in which adult education programs can help build those skills.
Here are three publications that may be useful:
The New Landscape of Digital Literacy . This 2020 report uses data from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (known as the PIAAC) to describe how many US workers ages 16-64 have proficient, limited, or no digital skills. There are lots of charts and graphs here that you can borrow for your own work! Just credit NSC
Applying a Racial Equity Lens to Digital Literacy: This short, easy-to-read fact sheet has specific statistics on Black, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander workers' digital skills. It also has information about immigrants' and English learners' digital skills.
Boosting Digital Literacy in the Workplace: This report explains how adult education providers and other nonprofit training providers can help people move beyond basic, foundational digital skills and acquire industry-specific digital skills. Adult educators will not be surprised to find out that contextualized learning is a best practice!
One other resource that can be useful for adult educators is a series of fact sheets published by National Skills Coalition in Summer 2021.
Digital skills fact sheets by industry:
We would love to hear your feedback about what is helpful (or not so helpful) about these fact sheets! Please feel free to be in touch, either here on LINCS or via e-mail at AmandaBS@nationalskillscoalition.org.
I am sharing information from Amanda Bergson -Shilcock about common definitions and frameworks for digital skills. The federal Digital Resilience in the American Workforce (DRAW) research project has just released a couple of super-useful resources.
- The first blog post provides an excellent synopsis of the various Digital Skills frameworks and features the Seattle Digital Equity Framework.
- The second post is provides links to the incredibly useful Digital Skills Library of 2,000 free resources for learning digital skills (including a few in languages other than English).
Thanks Amanda for these great tools.