Check Out the New Federal Guide on Digital Equity in Public Education – Conduit Street – Conduit Street

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Education

Communities across the country were shocked by the COVID-19 pandemic’s revelation of the digital divide facing America’s students. The U.S. Department of Education has released new guidance to help local school districts close the gap.
As kids around the nation turned to virtual and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing became clear: some of the country’s kids lacked the necessary access to reliable, quality internet to participate in digital schooling. The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has released guidance to help states and local education agencies (LEAs) tackle that gap and close the “digital divide.”
The USDE’s Office of Educatio Technology in September released a 57 page guide titled, “Advancing Digital Equity for All: Community-Based Recommendations for Developing Effective Digital Equity Plans to Close the Digital Divide and Enable Technology-Empowered Learning.”
The guide defines digital equity as “The condition in which individuals and communities have the information technology capacity that is needed for full participation in the society and economy of the United States.”
The breadth and depth of the problem
USDE found dozens of common barriers  impeding digital learning around the country. The Department categorized them into three umbrellas: availability, affordability, and adoption.

Guidance to improve the digital divide
Corresponding to the three umbrellas of barriers, USDE has offered a series of potential solutions to address them. Suggested strategies include partnering with private internet service providers to improve equitable broadband infrastructure and using public spaces and community partnerships to create mo …

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