New ISTE Book: How to Close the Digital Divide for Students

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Closing the Gap: Digital Equity Strategies for the K-12 Classroom, a new book from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), explores digital equity in depth and provides teachers and coaches concrete strategies for addressing this dilemma.

Authors Nicol R. Howard, Sarah Thomas and Regina Schaffer rely on this definition of digital equity: “Equal access and opportunity to digital tools, resources and services to increase digital knowledge, awareness, and skills.” Their book includes the latest research and approaches to digital equity challenges tied to the ISTE Standards for Educators and the ISTE Standards for Students. The book shares vignettes from teachers who have encountered and conquered some of these challenges, and from edtech coaches who have implemented equity-centered innovative professional development.

  • To combat the digital divide, teachers in today’s classrooms must address issues such as connectivity, limited resources and the homework gap.  The book focuses on the following:  How to resolve problems of practice, including assembling a team, identifying and analyzing the problem, and implementing a plan to attack barriers to digital equity.
  • How teachers can help to promote digital equity, looking closely at three common themes: lifelong learning, communication and transforming learning.
  • Professional learning, including questions for self-evaluation. The authors also discuss options for self-directed professional learning.

Closing the Gap is an ISTE book series designed to reflect the contributions of multiple stakeholders seeking to ensure that digital equity is achieved on campuses, in classrooms and throughout education. The first book in the series, Closing the Gap: Digital Equity Strategies for Teacher Prep Programs, shares examples and recommendations for educational technology leaders and educators on moving toward digital equity in K-12 and teacher education.