When it comes to schools, bridging the “digital divide” means more than providing access. While that gap isn’t yet closed, there’s another emerging equity imbalance that goes beyond computers or connectivity. This “second-level digital divide” is fueled by major differences in how effectively that technology is being used for teaching and learning. And it’s especially pronounced in low-income schools, where teachers face a significant disadvantage when it comes to training and professional development. Closing this divide means equipping educators with the skills and tools they need to effectively integrate technology in their classrooms. That’s why we’re launching the Dynamic Learning Project, a new pilot that’s part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that the benefits of technology are truly reaching every classroom.
Research suggests that coaching has a positive impact on teacher practices and student outcomes. So to start, we’re providing a $6.5 million grant to Digital Promise through Google.org in order to launch a pilot that will support full-time coaches at 50 underserved middle schools in five diverse regions across the U.S. These coaches will provide personalized support to help educators learn about technology and use it in their classroom in transformative ways. To set schools up for success, each will receive mentoring support and ongoing professional development from experts at EdTechTeam. They’ll also participate in a community of practice with other participating schools, allowing them to share their learnings and expand their professional networks.