We want students to be ready for the future. We want them to thrive in the real world, armed with a toolkit of skills and experiences collected during their time in the classroom.
According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, to be a future-ready school is to be a school that maximizes digital learning experiences. Words like “personalized learning” and “instructional goals to support teaching and learning” are speckled throughout the future-ready website and one-pager.
Well, I’m on board. At Chalkup, we cheer any initiative to better prepare students for the real world. And I’m most interested in highlighting something specific from within the future-ready movement: equity.
That’s right, equity, not equality.
Giving everyone access to the same edtech tool is awesome, but it doesn’t guarantee that everyone will have the same access or learning opportunities. That’s where I’m excited to see the future-ready movement dig in.
I make an edtech product. And there are definitely ways for edtech companies to create more equitable experiences for users.
The one that is most important to me lies in the user experience we’re building.
Different subjects. Different ideas. Different assignments.
Same intuitive user experience.
To take a page from my colleague Eli and his piece on edtech that is hard to use, an educator shouldn’t need to be an expert web designer to use a chosen learning platform.
When someone says there is disparity between “how good a course looks” from class to class, I know that we have an equity problem. Everyone got the same tool. Not everyone got the same learning opportunity because of how complicated the tool was. Classrooms were counting on educators to have a dense technological understanding of instructional design and the corresponding web design skills to create that experience from within their platform. Yeesh.
I’ve dedicated my efforts to creating a product that makes it easy for any educator to build something engaging and powerful. That’s been my goal from the beginning. At Chalkup, we value connection, collaboration, simplicity, and power. And we hope that by putting a laser-focus on these values, we’ll contribute to more equitable experiences between classrooms using the tool we’ve created.