Digital Leadership
Summit at ISTELive 20
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Why Digital Equity Matters!

Location: W176a

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Panel

Monday, June 25, 10:00–11:00 am
Location: W176a

Patricia Brown   Carla Jefferson   Wes Kriesel   Dr. Adam Phyall   Meenoo Rami   Regina Schaffer   Brian Smith   Knikole Taylor   Dr. Sarah-Jane Thomas  
As we reimagine and further define digital equity, there's an increasing need for professional learning opportunities. We'll facilitate a dialogue about the multiple dimensions of digital equity with the goal of determining actionable steps for K-12 campuses.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Google Apps and Medium
Focus: Leadership
Topic: Digital equity
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Professional Development and Program Evaluation
  • Design, develop and implement technology-rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning and assessment.
For Educators:
  • Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.
For Administrators:
Excellence in Professional Practice
  • Stay abreast of educational research and emerging trends regarding effective use of technology and encourage evaluation of new technologies for their potential to improve student learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

According to Davis, Fuller, Jackson, Pittman, and Sweet (2007), digital equity is defined as “equal access and opportunity to digital tools, resources, and services to support an increase in digital knowledge, awareness, and skills.” Over the past decade, teachers and administrators continue to grapple with what this truly means for the K12 classroom. Additionally, they are seeking new ways to close the digital divide while attempting to adequately redefine the term “digital equity” as our population of students continue to change demographically. As we seek a clear and shared definition, we must re-imagine professional development to effectively prepare teachers for this work in the midst of rapid district adoptions of digital content.

Over the past few years, we have engaged ISTE conference attendees through rich discussions, ignites, and keynotes that have addressed diversity and digital equity; however, we realize that as our student population continues to grow and change so should the climate of the professional learning experience and how we support students. As the Digital Equity PLN, we feel that we can't simply talk about digital equity. We need action! To be most effective in our actions, we need opportunities to share perspectives and to engage in meaningful professional learning through a broad range of perspectives.

We hope to facilitate a dialogue in a space filled with all stakeholders while re-imagining “digital equity” in today’s landscape in order to push pass using this term as a buzzword only. During our time together, we will look at a wide range of professional learning opportunities, including several ISTE affiliates, and focus on what they are doing differently to clearly identify areas for personal and professional improvement. The goal is to determine the most effective ways in which we can support one another when doing work related to digital equity.

Evidence of success will be determine through the development of collaborative actionable steps and a post assessment about new learnings and new professional learning opportunities related to digital equity. A shared site with curated resources and additional goals and/or recommendations will also be made available for attendees. Although we have mentioned several key ideas to help determine success, we recognize that true success in this area evolves over time through an ongoing commitment to doing the necessary work to achieve digital equity for all.

The connection to "technology" here is about Davis’ definition for digital equity above; however, we are also focused on the bigger picture which is engaging the key stakeholders in a dialogue about necessary change. We may not close the digital equity gap one session (and that is not our intention), but we can all leave with new ideas and plans that enact authentic change beyond the buzz.


Attendees participate in a Google Slide's Live Q&A feature for the duration of this panel.

We will conduct a brief Q&A based on questions curated through our online communities on this topic. (5-10 minute)

We will then share short clips from community examples of “digital equity”. We will curate their "how" for the room to begin thinking about how to support others in this work. (10 minutes)

Another Short Q&A based on examples. (10 minutes)

Collaborative goal setting (in small groups) with a facilitator using an online tool. (15 minutes)

Reflection and determination of actionable steps. How might we hold one another accountable? (5-10 minutes)

Supporting research

** ISTE DE PLN Medium Blog:

Becker, J. D. (2007). Digital Equity in Education: A Multilevel Examination of Differences in and Relationships between Computer Access, Computer Use and State-level Technology Policies. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 15(3), 1-36.

Davis, T., Fuller, M., Jackson, S., Pittman, J. & Sweet, J. (2007). A National Consideration of Digital Equity. International Society for Technology in Education.

Gorski, P. C. (2009). Insisting on Digital Equity: Reframing the Dominant Discourse on Multicultural Education and Technology. Urban Education, 44(3), 348-364.

Krueger, K. (2016). Digital Equity in School Communities. School Administrator, 73(4), 11.

Krueger, K., & James, J. (2017). Digital Equity: The Civil Rights Issue Of Our Time. Principal, 96(4), 12-16.

Price-Dennis, D. d., & Carrion, S. s. (2017). Leveraging Digital Literacies for Equity and Social Justice. Language Arts, 94(3), 190-195.

Smith, T. (2016). Digital Equity. Tech & Learning, 36(9), 32-38.

Warschauer, M., Knobel, M., & Stone, L. (2004). Technology and Equity in Schooling: Deconstructing the Digital Divide. Educational Policy, 18(4), 562-588.

More [+]


Patricia Brown, Ladue School District
Carla Jefferson, Darlington County School District
Wes Kriesel, Fullerton School District
Dr. Adam Phyall, Newton County School System

Adam Phyall is a former high school science teacher and currently serving as the Director of Technology and Media Services for Newton County School System in Covington, GA. Throughout his professional career, Mr. Phyall worked extensively with Title I and Urban schools to improve technology integration with economically disadvantaged students. He has planned and developed Mobile Learning plans for school districts in Georgia and Missouri that have led to 1:1 device initiatives.

Meenoo Rami, Microsoft
Regina Schaffer, Thorne Middle School
Brian Smith, Pass The Scope EDU

Brian Smith is currently a 1:1 Technology Learning Coach with the responsibility of providing personalized PD and digital culture changing opportunities for schools with a focus on student creation versus consumption. He has developed Student Tech Squads and Innovation Leadership Communities with the emphasis on providing Relevant Digital Citizenship opportunities through Student Voice platforms and Real-World experiences. Brian is a Common Sense Education Ambassador, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Google Certified Educator, Flipgrid Ambassador, Hoonuit Learning Ambassador and an Alpha Squirrel Ambassadors all fueling his passion to Meet Student Where they are.

Knikole Taylor, Life School
Dr. Sarah-Jane Thomas, Prince Georges County Public Schools

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