Digital Equity Champions for All Learners: Leaders Partner with Communities and Across Sectors to Advance Digital Inclusion Goals

Office of Ed Tech
2 min readFeb 7, 2023

This is the first blog in a series summarizing the Office of Educational Technology’s (OET) digital equity stories. Throughout 2023, OET will collect stories of communities, organizations, and educational institutions implementing promising strategies to advance digital equity, especially those addressing human-level barriers to adoption of broadband and technology tools for learning.

Collage of six champions for digital equity. From top to bottom, left to right: Agustin Urgiles (School2Home), Erin Carr-Jordan (Digital Equity Institute), Jessica Ramos (#OaklandUndivided), Meredith Williams (AT&T), David Silver (#OaklandUndivided), and Marlon Styles, Jr. (Middletown City School District).

At the U.S. Department of Education’s National Digital Equity Summit, OET interviewed several leaders across the country who are addressing digital equity issues in their communities. In each interview, OET asked leaders, “How are you and your organization working across sectors to advance digital equity for learners, families, and communities?” and “How will you continue building on this commitment to digital equity?” Their responses are noted in the linked stories below.

Middletown City School District Engages in Partnerships to Support Students and Staff

Marlon Styles, Jr., superintendent of Middletown City School District in Ohio, said, “[We are] working with our parents, our families, our philanthropic organizations, as well as our state government department to make sure we’re exploring funding mechanisms to provide our students with the resources they need.”

#OaklandUndivided Advances Tech Access from “Cradle to Career”

David Silver, Director of Education for the Mayor of Oakland and one of the leaders of #OaklandUndivided, shared, “For the third straight year, every Oakland Public School student — who has a need — can have access to a computer and internet. In addition to that, we expanded [the initiative] to pre-K… and eight institutions of higher learning.”

AT&T Addresses Broadband Availability, Affordability, and Adoption

AT&T Assistant Vice President Meredith Williams said, “We have built out digital literacy centers [or Connected Learning Centers]…working with local organizations…so we can meet the needs of those very specific communities.”

Arizona’s Digital Equity Institute Encourages States to Co-Create of Solutions with Communities

Erin Carr-Jordan, Managing Director of the Digital Equity Institute, reflected, “Until we measure ourselves in lives changed and until the perception of success is determined by the community, we won’t actually know how well we’ve done.”

School2Home Helps California Schools Strategize for Home Broadband Access and Effective Technology Use

Agustin Urgiles, Executive Manager of School2Home, emphasized, “Our School2Home initiative has taught us a lot about the need to have technology access be coupled with…resources and support…to make sure that teachers, parents, students, [and] administrators know how to use technology.”

To learn more about how OET is supporting digital equity in education, visit https://tech.ed.gov/DEER.

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Office of Ed Tech

OET develops national edtech policy & provides leadership for maximizing technology's contribution to improving education. Examples ≠ endorsement