Online learning can be an important tool for advancing student equity by bringing instructional opportunities to students that didn’t exist for them before. However, as we’ve seen during the pandemic, online instruction can sometimes widen equity gaps if the circumstances aren’t favorable. For online learning to support student equity, here are five critical elements that must be in place.
The opportunities for students to demonstrate their skills and abilities by any means available during the pandemic shattered the one-size-fits-all model of bubble sheets, rote memorization, and timed exams. Already the backlash to No Child Left Behind had softened the terrain, but figuratively tearing down the classroom walls tossed many educators and students into the deep-end of these educational cousins which are soon to be the hallmarks of 21st century learning.
Educators know that social-emotional learning, also known as SEL, is an important and crucial student need, but managing this in the classroom can be difficult. After all, there’s so much on educators’ plates and SEL is one more thing weighing on educators’ minds.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on equity disparities in K–12 education, with new attention on how factors such as internet access, home environments, and family dynamics can impact student success. As schools continue responding to pandemic disruptions, timely and comprehensive data in one spot remains critical to educators’ abilities to make informed decisions and create targeted interventions.
A Bilingual Director of Curriculum in a district with hundreds of young students learning English during the pandemic shares how an online adaptive, blended learning literacy program made a world of difference in outcomes among second-graders transitioning to using English fully in their classes.
- By Maria Arambula-Ruiz
An administrator at North Clackamas School District in Oregon whose students speak more than 60 different languages describes the ways the district benefitted from adopting a unified school-home communications platform.
- By Shelly Reggiani
Ensuring equitable access for all students to STEAM learning and career preparation is everyone's job: At home, parents should encourage their children to participate in what they like, disregarding what marketing executives decided was “appropriate” for girls or boys; and at school, teachers must encourage both girls and boys in their formative processes, wherever that might lead them. Technology (or any career) has no gender; it should be open to everyone who takes an interest in it.
- By Claudia Marroquin
What teachers most need is not another app, it’s student goal setting—the process of working with students to set a short-term learning goal, track progress toward that goal, and celebrate success. Senior education researcher and author Chase Nordengren lays out the five steps to start revolutionizing student learning with student goal setting in a workshop-style classroom.
- By Chase Nordengren
As K–12 schools work to recover from widespread learning loss resulting from pandemic disruptions, implementing the tools, policies, and practices necessary to capture and leverage actionable data will be critical; here's how to identify, measure, and act on student and school data to maximize efforts at closing the learning gap.
Data security and privacy are inseparable. With today kicking off Data Privacy Week, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at the efforts being made to ensure the privacy of our student’s data is being protected, and understand why schools must take data security more seriously.
- By Charlie Sander