How an ed-tech equity dashboard aims to narrow digital divide

Free and publically accessible National EdTech Equity Dashboard tracks daily K-12 ed-tech engagement trends
By: | April 27, 2021

A newly launched ed-tech equity dashboard aims to give educators the most comprehensive look at digital learning disparities in real-time.

The free and publically accessible National EdTech Equity Dashboard, created by ed-tech evaluation provider, LearnPlatform, tracks daily K-12 ed-tech engagement trends in schools across the U.S., said Karl Rectanus, co-founder and CEO of LearnPlatform.

“Now, as the Biden administration pledges to tackle education’s digital divide as a first priority, transparent measurement of ed-tech engagement—which is a leading indicator for learning—serves a vital role in supporting all students moving forward,” Rectanus said. “This National EdTech Equity Dashboard provides a barometer on what’s actually happening for students.”

Another goal of the dashboard is to highlight how local, state and federal decision-makers are working to closing digital learning gaps, he said.

The dashboard visualizes the digital learning gap by comparing the EdTech Engagement Index—a calculated value based on the amount of web-based engagement per 1,000 users—of districts based on affluence levels and racial makeup.

For example, the dashboard shows monthly ed-tech engagement in majority-minority districts is persistently lower than in district where 50% or more of the students are white.

Districts where less than 25% of students receive free-and-reduced lunch show higher engagement than in districts where more than a quarter of students eat free-and-reduced lunch.

“This dashboard provides a great frame for how we can look at our own data,” said Casey Rimmer, director of innovation and ed-tech at Union County Public Schools in North Carolina. “We’ve been working hard to address access gaps and we need to continue that work to ensure it leads to engagement and learning.”

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