The Digital Equity Act: Will it help close the digital divide in education?
Published March 25, 2022
The "digital divide" has been with us for decades. Unfortunately, those with the means to access the latest technology or reliable internet benefit disproportionately in their lives – whether in education, health or otherwise. Others are left behind.
During the pandemic, as school and work went online for billions around the world, the divide became even more obvious and penalizing to those in low-income urban and rural communities. Without internet or devices at home, how could they keep up in school or work efficiently? The result has been that students from disadvantaged backgrounds fell even further behind their peers in learning outcomes.
In this article for Forbes.com, McGraw Hill CEO Simon Allen explains how COVID-19 has exacerbated the digital divide and how federal legislation passed in 2021 should help provide more equitable access to internet in the future so more learners can benefit from the power of educational technology.
It is encouraging to know that steps are being taken to address education gaps. Our education technology industry has the potential to change lives and unlock learners' potential through innovative tools and platforms, but we must focus on critical issues of equity if we want to achieve our vision. The Digital Equity Act is a great start.