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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Quality Tech Integration is an Equity Issue

As I listen to presentations at November Learning's Building Learning Communities (BLC) Conference, I am reminded that quality tech integration is an equity issue.

As I listen to the stories about terrific tech integration and wonderful tech tools, I find myself wondering if all of our students have access to terrific tech tools and use. I am worried that too often tech in some settings is "workbook on a page" or no tech at all rather than the creative, global, and life enriching tech tools and integration I am learning about this week.

In my own setting, I see this disparity with the use of Minecraft. So many students use Minecraft and it's clear to see how use of that program benefits students' overall learning. Yet, not all of my students have access to this valuable 3D creation, gaming tool. I want to include Minecraft as a school choice so that its benefits are equitable to all students, students who will live and work in a world that regularly uses 3D virtual tools and platforms, a world where early use and understanding of 3D models and creation is advantageous.

How can educators work to make tech use and integration more equitable and valuable to all learners? How can we creatively look for ways to integrate the awesome, life changing learning tool that technology is into every classroom in the United States in fluid, seamless, positive ways? To many who use the tools with strength, it's probably surprising that these questions still exist, however, it's time we work think deeply about how to make positive change in this regard.