Community-Based Recommendations for Developing Effective Digital Equity Plans to Close the Digital Divide and Enable Technology-Empowered Learning
In spring 2022, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) committed to advancing digital equity through the Digital Equity Education Roundtables (DEER) Initiative. Through DEER, OET hosted a series of national conversations with leaders from community-based organizations, as well as families and learners furthest from digital opportunities. The “Advancing Digital Equity for All” resource illuminates insights from these conversation to highlight the barriers faced by learner communities and promising solutions for increasing access to technology for learning.
The historic federal investments authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act offer critical opportunities for broadband planning that can identify and equitably address the various availability, affordability, and adoption challenges described. Using this guidance resource as a starting point, it is essential that leaders collaborate with those most impacted by the digital divide to develop comprehensive digital equity plans that outline strategies to meet the needs of learners, their families/caregivers, and communities effectively and sustainably.