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Bridging the Gap: Tackling Digital Equity Through Access and Opportunity

[Listen and learn : Panel]

Wednesday, June 29, 11:45 am–12:45 pm
CCC 403

favoritesRohit Agarwal  favoritesPatricia Brown  favoritesStephanie Cerda  favoritesClara Galan  favoritesCarla Jefferson  favoritesRegina Schaffer  
We'll discuss problems of practice as well as solutions that address digital needs affecting access and opportunity for students, especially students living in poverty students of color. Panelist represent a broad spectrum including the ed tech industry, schools of varying student population and diversity.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, PC, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Leadership
Topic: Digital equity
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: Administrators : Visionary leadership
Administrators : Digital age learning culture
Students : Creativity and innovation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will engage in rich discussions centered on K-12 digital equity from diverse perspectives, problems of practice and solutions that can be transferable to similar school situations.

Participants will learn how equity issues have broad implications on students regardless of district size and especially concerning race, gender and economic standing.

Participants will learn about programs such as the Future Ready initiative, BYOD with supported access, maker movement, global connectedness and Blended Learning initiatives have created pathways towards narrowing the opportunity gap across diverse populations in both rural and urban school systems.

Leveraging tools like Google Apps for Education as well as targeted digital leadership, brightbytes data and purposeful programs like specialized teacher learning groups and student organizations, participants will walk away with actionable steps that can be implemented in any area to provide support and services for all learners.

Participants will hear from the lens of edtech advocacy through PK-12 practitioners as well an edtech provider sharing how schools can take advantage of corporate offerings to address school/district goals aligned with closing digital gaps through creative decision making, alliances and spending.


This panel will be done in a Q&A format led by a moderator with room for audience questions and feedback. Format will be 40-45 minutes Q&A with 15-20 min of audience questions addressed to panelist. A backchannel will be utilized using twitter to engage a broader audience and collaborate on resources.
Question Strands Addressed
1. Audience members will become aware of the vast opportunity divide in digital access across racial and economic lines.
2. Audience members will understand the root of the opportunity divide and the various issues causing it.
3. Audience members will learn solutions to bridging the opportunity divide in technology, as well as formulate solutions to discuss with peers.

Supporting research

ISTE Digital Equity PLN

How Can Schools Close the Technology Gap?

The Missing Voices of Edtech: Bringing Diversity into Edtech

Whitehouse ConnectEd Initiative

Future Ready Schools

Why It's So Hard to Close the Digital Divide in High Poverty Schools



favorites Rohit Agarwal, Amazon Education

favorites Patricia Brown, Old Bonhomme School

Patricia Brown is a Technology Integration coach. She has over 15 years experience in education. She breaks down traditional classroom walls by creating a culture that fosters collaboration, creativity, communication, and authentic learning. She is an award winning educator, blogger, and presenter, and was recently selected as a 2015 PBS Lead Learning Media Digital Innovator. She is a Google Certified Trainer, Common Sense & Graphite Certified, Discovery Education DEN Star, Edmodo Ambassador, and a columnist for Edsurge. In 2006, she was honored as Teacher of The Year. She is passionate about being a connected educator, and empowering teachers and students.

favorites Stephanie Cerda, St. Gabriel's Catholic School

favorites Clara Galan, Amazon Education

favorites Carla Jefferson, Darlington County School District

Carla Jefferson is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Darlington County School District. Her passion for technology and teaching has led her on the journey to assist her district in making the digital transformation. A former teacher, curriculum facilitator, and school level administrator, Carla's goal is to level the playing field for all children through the use of technology. You can read her sporadic thoughts at Teach.Tech.Love ( To get a glimpse of the DCSD Digital Transformation Initiative, search for #dcsdtransforms

favorites Regina Schaffer, Bayview Elementary

Regina Schaffer is a Technology Specialist for the Middletown Township School District. Her passion for integrating technology in learning for students has been an integral part of her evolution as a modern educator. She is an advocate for using technology to bridge the gaps that exist for many of our nation’s students. Regina was recently selected as a National School Board Association's 20toWatch, as well as a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator. She is a Google Certified Innovator, Common Sense Media Certified Teacher, Discovery Education DEN Star, Remind Connected Educator and a Brainpop Connected Educator. Connect with Regina at @reginaschaffer.