Trends in Digital Equity Education Research

Exploring the Research and Emerging Best Practices on Educational Equity Through Digital Learning

The issue of equity in education is a complex one — vastly varying student needs, differences in resource availability between districts, and cultural, socioeconomic, and other factors all contribute to the existence of persistent inequities. While these inequities will likely continue to impact students for some time, pathways to breaking down inequities are becoming clearer.

Lynn Meyers, Digital Transformation Specialist at McGraw-Hill Education, and Justin Reich, Assistant Professor at MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab and one of the researchers behind the report: From Good Intentions to Real Outcomes, recently sat down for a fireside chat on educational equity. They discussed existing research, trends in the space, the impact of digital learning and social and emotional learning on equity, as well as content providers’ role in striving for equity. Here are a few highlights of their conversation:

Architecting Content with a Learning Science Perspective

Lynn explains how districts can collaborate with content providers to agree upon a vision for equity, and how content providers can use research and powerful technology to architect content that serves individual learning needs.

Mirrors and Windows

Justin and Lynn explore how representation in learning materials is key to culturally responsive teaching, and how digital learning can provide teachers with additional opportunities to get creative in ensuring students feel represented — and see themselves — in their learning.

Same Technology, Different Outcomes

Justin explains some of the research behind the report, From Good Intentions to Real Outcomes, and how he and his colleagues studied schools that were using technology to support more equitable outcomes — as well as how varying socioeconomic environments influenced students’ relationships with technology.

Opportunities for Playfulness and Creativity

Justin breaks down some important research findings around how different communities encourage students to use technology creatively or playfully, and how this illustrates important differences between districts, schools, and classrooms in regard to using technology for equity.

For the remainder of the clips filmed in this discussion, see: