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How do we Provide Educational Equity to all our Learners?
How do we Provide Educational Equity to all our Learners?
Equity in education is crucial for improved students outcomes. It ensures all students receive the resources required to streamline the learning processes and enhance the overall results.
Equity is equally beneficial for schools, colleges, and higher educational institutions to ensure each student performs at an acceptable level. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought severe economic crises, preventing institutions from achieving equity.
In fact, it has become more challenging for governments worldwide to deal with problems like school/college/university closures and provide students with access to Wi-Fi connections, technology tools, computer equipment, etc., for long-distance learning.
That's why it is crucial to create a sophisticated policy or strategy to overcome these issues. When used efficiently, advanced software solutions can build equity in educational institutions.
Not only does technology remove barriers to learning materials, but it also supports students by focusing on learning contexts and needs. At the same time, technology tools and software applications tailored to institutions' needs can give educators more insights into the learning environments.
Today's article will highlight the benefits of technology/software in providing equity. Read on!
Asynchronous Online Learning
Asynchronous learning has gained popularity in recent years because it allows students to engage with the course content from different locations at varying times. However, asynchronous learning is impossible without advanced technology or access to the internet.
Internet tools, such as online portals, allow instructors to provide students with different units when employed effectively. As a result, students move through a sequence of units according to their schedules. Remember, better access to technology is directly proportional to improving asynchronous online learning.
Instructors develop learning units, and each unit contains uploaded media, assigned readings, discussion boards, online quizzes, and other resources. Teachers can use tailored software solutions and management systems to guide students, provide feedback, and perform assessments as required.
Flexibility is the primary benefit of asynchronous learning because students have the freedom to learn where they want, when they want, and on what devices/tools (computers, laptops, smartphones, iPad, etc.) they want.
Common examples of asynchronous learning include prerecorded video lectures, video demonstrations, research projects, written assignments, online presentations, individual or group learning, students/teachers' conversations via discussion boards, and different learning activities, such as problem-solving, quizzes, games, etc.
Unlike synchronous education, asynchronous learning is affordable because students do not need a live instructor or teacher. On the other hand, instructors record their lessons, allowing students to view them later based on their schedules. Other advantages of asynchronous learning are:
- Flexibility and convenience
- Reinforce learning
- More students' control
- Learn at any pace
- Personalized learning experiences
- Revisit lessons as needed
- Enhanced students' comprehension
- Boosted knowledge retention
- Improve processes, practices, and responses
Educational institutions have been adopting cutting-edge technologies for the past two decades. For example, laptops, tablets, interactive whiteboards, etc., have replaced traditional textbooks, desktop computers, and chalkboards.
Some institutions, such as medical colleges and universities, have introduced advanced tools, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), for more streamlined and immersive learning environments and experiences.
According to RingCentral's survey, 83% of students and 89% of instructors believe that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has caused a significant impact on higher education and learning experiences.
Although mass vaccination campaigns have allowed governments to reopen schools/colleges, the Covid-19 pandemic has not gone away, causing inequity in education. That's why institutions focus more on a hybrid online/in-person approach.
The hybrid approach has become the new norm during Covid-19 and will continue to become an integral part of education. Anyway, whether government reopens educational institutions or allows them to follow a hybrid approach, technology will remain the center of the educational experience and improve equity levels.
Besides, online distance learning allows students to move from static learning material to media content with a more dynamic and interactive approach. Online learning facilitated via the internet and portals based on AI and machine learning algorithms allows students to learn faster and participate in engaging academic activities.
Moreover, digital simulations have become an integral component of distance learning because they improve students 'critical thinking skills by providing more virtual and hands-on learning.
The purpose is to ensure the accurate transfer of knowledge and information from course materials and allow students also practice correctly. All this translates to increased equity and better learning outcomes.
Voluntary Product Accessibility
The U.S.A General Services Administration (GSA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) have developed the voluntary product accessibility template, allowing educational institutions to determine whether their technology products comply with standards of accessibility.
Many educational institutions find it challenging to evaluate whether their products are accessible because they carry out the technology accessibility processes before procurement. Therefore, voluntary product accessibility allows them to overcome these problems and determine whether their products are quality and accurate.
The primary advantage of using voluntary product accessibility templates is to help educational institutions make informed decisions before purchasing information and communication technology(ICT) products. It allows for meeting accessibility standards, legal requirements, and other crucial functions at the organizational level.
What is the importance of equity in education?
There are many good reasons to believe that equity in education is important. One reason is that it can help close the achievement gap between different students. When all students have access to the same resources and opportunities, they are more likely to succeed.
Additionally, equity in education can help to create a more diverse and inclusive society. When everyone has a fair chance to succeed, it benefits us all.
Technology is the essence of improved equity in education, creating opportunities for all students to overcome disadvantages and find success. Through asynchronous learning, distance education, and other methods, technology/software helps institutions to give all students the chance to learn in their own way.
The purpose is to support students and optimize their learning styles based on their specific needs.