Student access to robust digital tools and curriculum is key to their success as 21st century citizens. Yet many students from economically disadvantaged families have limited access to these tools outside of school. It is worth noting that nearly two-thirds of school system leaders do not have any strategies for providing off-campus connectivity to students. (CoSN Infrastructure Survey, 2016) Closing this opportunity gap requires a variety of strategies involving schools and communities working together. In Beaverton, we began addressing this challenge by starting a monthly "Digital Equity Brown Bag Lunch" discussion group.
We cast a wide net and extended invitations to people from different schools and different departments. Really, the main requirement was to show up and to bring focused energy to this issue. The monthly meetings didn’t jump directly to solutions. Rather, we gathered data and wondered what more information we needed. Different people brought a wide variety of perspectives, and that led us to solutions that we might not have thought of in a small, similar group. After a year of study, some initial action items emerged:
The video above tells a brief story of some of our initiatives, but we realize that this is just a first step. Teaching and technology are changing quickly, and new challenges constantly emerge. The important thing is to be willing to work together to address challenges (both short term and long term) in order to provide a quality and engaging education for all of our students. Beaverton School District was recently recognized by CoSN with the 2018 Digital Equity Award.
I'm Interested In...
These blog posts will be compiled by the team to show our current interests, and what we are doing around the district!