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Equity in eLearning
Equity asks that we give students what they need to be successful versus giving every student the exact same thing. I think this will be important this fall. States and school districts are dealing with the same issue of COVID, but the impact has been different for everyone.
Look at the scenarios below. You will notice that eLearning and eLearning development will be presented differently.
Student A lives in a well-funded, small, suburban school district. Classroom sizes are less than 20 to 1. Every child is given a tablet at the beginning of the year. The medium income in this district is $100,000 a year. Parents are worried about the upcoming school year and have voiced hesitations on sending their students back to school. Parents are also supplementing their children’s education with tutors and programs.
The school district has determined it best to only offer eLearning courses. Teachers are supporting families by having live classes online and have been pivotal in eLearning development. The district has even hired eLearning consultants. Students have also been given access to a database that allows them to take online classes of interest in various topics: animation, coding, dance, art, etc. The students take these courses with their peers to help with socialization during this time. Mental health counselors are also available to families.
Student B lives in a large school district. Classroom sizes are about 35 to 1. The school has a diverse student population. 70% of the students are low income, 10% of the district is special needs, and 45% of the district is English Language Learners. Parents are worried about the upcoming school year and have voiced their frustrations on a lack of support. Parents want to keep their children safe and believe that school would be the best option. They struggled in the last Spring semester with online education.
The school district has decided to do a hybrid model. Students will attend school 3 days a week and on alternating schedules based on last name and grade level. Every student will be offered a computer, internet will be offered for all low-income families, and eLearning courses will be available in English and Spanish. Students will disabilities will have rotating aids who can meet with the students in person or electronically.
Based on an equality model, the students should be offered the same thing. However, in an equity model, options are offered based on the students and their families. Whether you agree with the districts are not the issue. It is more important to understand that across America we will see varied options, and this provides true equity. Liam Crest is a black owned eLearning company that has been passionate about equity for all because its owners have been a brilliant product of an equity based education and would like to see more of it for students across America, no matter their color, creed, gender, origin, or nationality.