Before the pandemic, children already started learning new things with the help of technology. They would google terms or things which they don’t understand. Though not everyone has a laptop, they may have a smartphone or a tablet to help them know more about the world. Those who don’t have enough equipment to access the information may perform worse in the class than other classmates. People noticed the achievement gap long ago. While achievement differences between demographics are often in the spotlight, there can also be gaps between students with digital resources and those without.
The pandemic has challenged schools and teachers to push further the digital transformation in education. Teachers make a lot of effort implementing new digital learning models. That’s why students are able to continue to learn when they cannot go to the school during the lockdown. Technology helps people keep connected and learning. However, there are some problems at the beginning too. For example, not every student has a laptop or a stable internet connection at home. How to make every student see and hear the class becomes a serious issue. Even though most students are back to school now, teachers still rely on digital teaching and need to ensure digital equity in the classroom. Here are four ways we can advance inclusive digital solutions to ensure that every student has access to learning anytime, everywhere.
1.Create an equitable environment
Educators should make sure that every student has access to technology so that they can succeed academically. Students with limited access to technology face challenges when trying to complete assignments, participate in class discussions, and learn new skills. They also struggle to keep up with their peers who have more access to technology. Here are things that educators can do. First, check what devices your students have to support digital learning. If any student needs help, just ask if your school or any group can help. Second, when integrating new software to the lesson, it’s better to choose a solution which is mobile-friendly, then students can use any device to access the application.
2.Provide training and support
After making sure that all students have access to digital technology at home, educators then need to provide training and support to students. It’s not just about teaching students how to use devices and software, but also about letting students know the proper use of digital devices. Identifying the disinformation is also an important task for students. Technology makes learning convenient, but all of us are still learning how to harness technology. Educators must pay attention to how students use technology and their performance. Provide support for those who need help.
One of the biggest barriers to student success is lack of parental involvement. Parents play an essential role in helping children succeed in school. If they aren’t aware of what their child needs to learn, then they won’t be able to help them. This means that teachers need to work with parents to ensure that they understand how to support their children at home. They also need to make sure that parents understand the importance of being involved in their child’s education. Teachers can engage parents by providing parent workshops and inviting them to visit classrooms.
Teachers are not born with skill, they need time to develop skills. As we expect teachers to integrate technology to bring innovation in the classroom, we also need to support teachers whatever they need. Teachers should be provided with a personal computer or laptop which will help them to search for the best solution they need and how they can facilitate hybrid teaching. Working in collaboration is also a good way for teachers to learn new technology. Teachers can work together to innovate something or share their pedagogical approaches. Teachers should be provided with resources or contact which they can ask for help when they need technical support.