Schools that rely on remote learning during the pandemic are trying to ensure that all kids have the devices and internet bandwidth they need. While important, it takes more than everyone having comparable equipment and working Wi-Fi for all children to get an equal shot.
In my new book based on the sociological research I conducted at three middle schools before the COVID-19 pandemic, I explain how even if all students could get the same hardware and software, it would fail to even the academic playing field.
I saw many technologies used in unequal ways. And I observed teachers responding differently to students’ digital skills depending on the race or ethnicity and economic status of most of their students.
Learning from digital play
Previous research by a team of University of California researchers found that young people gain basic digital skills just from playing with friends online. This includes the