2019 Digital Equity Summit: Bridging the Learning @ Home Gap Highlights
On July 8, 2019, the Virginia Department of Education hosted the first ever Digital Equity Summit. The summit was a pre-conference to the larger Virginia is for All Learners: Education Equity Summer Institute-Policy, Practice, and Preparation; that was held on July 9-10, 2019 at the same venue. Participants had the opportunity to attend the larger conference as well as the pre-conference. The purpose of the Digital Equity Summit was to bring K-12 education leaders together to learn more about the factors that contribute to digital equity and potential solutions to the problem. Education and community leaders play a vital role in driving the conversations around digital equity at the local and state level. With that in mind we encouraged schools to bring a team to the Summit that included school superintendents, school technology leaders, school board members, county administrators, public library directors, and other key stakeholders.
Factors that Contribute to Digital Equity
- Data Solution: Inform decisions/solutions
- Data Factor: Inaccurate or untimely
- Rural Broadband
- State Grants (Virginia Telecommunications Initiative)
- Federal Grants
- Local Government
- Internet Service Providers and Wireless Internet Service Providers
- K-12 educators partner with community leaders and champion broadband
- Teacher professional development around Homework Gap
- Education Level of Families
- Some people do not see the value in having the internet
- Mobile Devices Only
- Lack of Digital Literacy Skills
- Internet Service Providers
- Adult Education Programs
- Median Income
As defined by the Virginia Department of Education, “The Learning @ Home Gap” describes a multitude of missed learning opportunities by students who lack access to technology and/or high-speed Internet.
According to the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, “Digital Equity” is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy. Digital Equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.”
Digital Equity Summit Program
- Digital Equity Summit Program - ADA Compliant Version-This is a Word document.
- Digital Equity Summit Program-This is a PDF document.
(Audio quality best with headphones)
- Keynote of Dr. James Lane, Virginia Department of Education, Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Keynote of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Federal Communications Commission
- Remarks of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Digital Equity Summit 2019: Bridging the Learning @ Home Gap, July 8, 2019 – ADA Compliant Version-This is a Word document.
- Remarks of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Digital Equity Summit 2019: Bridging the Learning @ Home Gap, July 8, 2019-This is a PDF document.
The Design Jam session at the Digital Equity Summit was coordinated and facilitated by Digital Charlotte. The Design Jam brought together Summit participants to gather feedback on what and how they would like to see the VDOE address the issues related to digital inequities. The Design Jam Report was produced by Digital Charlotte:
- Design Jam Report - ADA Compliant Version-This is a Word document.
- Design Jam Report-This is a PDF document.
Digital Equity Resources
Identify other persons or groups in your community that may want to be part of a larger collaboration such as local governments, banks, foundations, Internet Service Providers, (ISP), Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPS), local or regional libraries, etc.
- Getting Learners Connected outlines strategies available for students to connect and avoid barriers to distance learning outside of school, known commonly as the “Homework Gap”.
- Benton Institute for Broadband & Society
- Commonwealth Connect: the Commonwealth of Virginia’s comprehensive effort to achieve universal broadband access, a goal set by Governor Ralph Northam in July 2018. Commonwealth Connect is working towards universal broadband.
- Community Reinvestment Act Funds (CRA) Richmond Federal Reserve Bank: CRA funding: Jeanne Milliken Bonds, Jeanne.Bonds@rich.frb.org
- Comcast Internet Essentials: Nathan Daugherty, firstname.lastname@example.org, 434-238-0729
- Cox, Connect2Compete, and Cox Digital Academy: Sarah.Buck@cox.com, 757-222-2646
- A Jump-start Guide to the I3 Connectivity Explorer
- IC3 Connectivity Explorer
- Kajeet: Michael Flood, email@example.com, 240-482-3502
- National Collaborative for Digital Equity
- National Digital Inclusion Alliance
- Sprint 1 Million Project: Rishabh.Kashyyap, Rishabh.Kashyap@1millionproject.org
- T-Mobile, Empower ED 2.0: Dave Bolton, David Bolton@T-Mobile.com, 610-714-0021
- Virginia STAR Refurbished Computers: Mike Wiczalkowski, firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Virginia Public Libraries: Cindy Church, email@example.com, 804-692-3773
- Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech: Digital Literacy training for communities: Neil Vines, Nvines@vt.edu
- Virginia Planning District Commissions
- Virginia Telecommunications Initiative
Digital Equity Research & Other Articles
- Digital Promise: Closing the Digital Learning Gap
- Pew Research Center: Internet & Technology, Mobile Technology and Home Broadband