From Good Intentions to Real Outcomes: Equity by Design in Learning Technologies
Justin Reich and Mizuko Ito
Date: Oct 30, 2017
The growth of online communication, media, and gaming is driving dramatic changes in how we learn. Responding to these shifts, new forms of technology-enhanced learning and instruction, such as personalized learning, open online courses, educational games and apps, and tools for learning analytics, are garnering significant public attention and private investment. These technologies hold tremendous promise for improving learning experiences and outcomes. Despite this promise, however, evidence is mounting that these new technologies tend to be used and accessed in unequal ways, and they may even exacerbate inequity.
In February and May 2017, leading researchers, educators, and technologists convened for in-depth working sessions to share challenges and solutions for how learning technologies can provide the greatest benefits for our most vulnerable learners.The aim was to develop guiding principles and a shared agenda for how educational platforms and funders can best serve diverse and disadvantaged learners. These principles include inclusive design processes, ways of addressing barriers, and meth- ods to effectively measure impact.
This report synthesizes the research, learnings, and recommendations that participants offered at the two workshops. After framing the nature of the challenge, the report then describes promising strategies and examples, and it ends with recommendations for next steps in research and coalition building.