1st Edition

Digital Learning in High-Needs Schools A Critical Approach to Technology Access and Equity in PreK-12

Edited By Heejung An, David A. Fuentes Copyright 2023
    258 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Digital Learning in High-Needs Schools examines the challenges and affordances that arise when high-needs school communities integrate educational technologies into their unique settings. Although remote, blended, and networked learning are ubiquitous today, a number of cultural, economic, and political realities—from the digital divide and digital literacy to poverty and language barriers—affect our most vulnerable and underresourced teachers and students. This book uses critical theory to compassionately scrutinize and unpack the systemic issues that impact high-needs schools’ implementation of digital learning tools. Incisive sociocultural analyses across fifteen original chapters explore the intersection of society, technology, people, politics, and education in high-needs school contexts. Informed by real-world cases pertaining to technology infrastructure, formative feedback, Universal Design for Learning, and more, these chapters illuminate how best practices emerge from culturally responsive and context-specific foundations.

    Section I: Understanding the Intersection of Students, Families, and Schooling in High-Needs Communities 1. Understanding the Sociocultural and Sociopolitical Contexts of U.S. High-Needs Public Schools Before, During, and After the COVID-19 Pandemic 2. Ramifications of the Digital Divide on Cognitive Development and School Preparedness 3. Strategies to Help Administrators, Teachers, and Parents to Achieve Equitable Digital Learning in U.S. High-Needs School Communities Section II: Vision and Leadership for Digital Learning in High-Needs Communities 4. Bridging the Digital Divide: An Analysis of Federal, State, and Local Policies in U.S. Schools 5. Twitter for Professional Development and Learning in High-Needs Schools: Considerations for School Leaders 6. Feedback, Evaluation, and Grading: The Unique Considerations Distance Learning Poses to the Evaluation Cycle and the Task of Ensuring Equitable Practices 7. Students’ Informational Needs: Applying the Principles of Universal Design to Address Inequity in High-Needs Schools During Virtual Learning Section III: Pedagogical Strategies and Digital Tools Across the Curriculum  8. Content-Neutral Technologies as a Pedagogical Response in High-Needs Schools and Communities: Design Thinking, Making, and Learning 9. Strategies to Facilitate Digital Learning in Urban High-Needs Social Studies Classrooms 10. Designing a Culturally Responsive Multilingual Arts-Integration Program: Read-Aloud and Book-Inspired Art-Making Videos 11. The Influence of an Online Mathematics Activity on Elementary School Students’ Engagement and Learning in a High-Needs Context 12. Digital Learning for Students With Disabilities 13. Using Bitmoji® and Google Classroom® to Support Remote Literacy Instruction in High-Needs Schools 14. A Whole New World: Virtual Excursions for Learners From Urban Settings 15. Rural Social Studies Teachers’ Postpandemic Use of Technology Tools


    Heejung An is Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Professional Studies in the College of Education at William Paterson University of New Jersey, USA.

    David A. Fuentes is Interim Associate Dean and Professor in the College of Education at William Paterson University of New Jersey, USA.

    "This extraordinarily practical book is a must-have book for all stakeholders in high-needs schools. The cases and findings would also be beneficial for educators seeking to resolve digital inequity and enhance digital learning, especially in the post-pandemic era."
    —Jongpil Cheon, Associate Professor of Instructional Technology, College of Education, Texas Tech University, USA

    "In arguing that digital equity is school equity and analyzing the issue as one that involves both intersectional identities and an undergirding sociopolitical context, Heejung An and David Fuentes, professors and scholars of teacher education with expertise in preparing educators to serve diverse communities, provide a deep and nuanced exploration that broadens understanding. Chapters written by interdisciplinary scholars offer examples of equitable leadership of digital learning in high-needs schools that range from the use of social media in professional development to the role of school librarians to address the needs of all learners. There is something in this text for everyone who works in schools and cares about making needed change to provide children with more equitable learning environments."
    —Amy Ginsberg, Dean of the College of Education, William Paterson University, USA

    "Where will education go next? The authors tackle this colossal question to embrace this era of uncertainty. This book covers a diverse array of perspectives and will add great value in high-needs schools."
    —Keol Lim, Professor, Department of Educational Technology, Konkuk University, South Korea

    "The COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges for K-12 schools, while heightening the effects of unequal access to educational resources, particularly online digital technologies. An and Fuentes have gathered a fine group of experts that consider the complexity of these issues from a variety of angles. Rather than envisioning digital technologies as a panacea, the grounded approach generally shared by the authors focus their concerns on funding and wrap-around resources, with new technologies as pieces of a much larger puzzle. Each chapter is framed with guiding questions and concluded with key takeaways and recommended resources, making it an eminently practical tool for both teachers and researchers."

    —Lance E. Mason, Associate Professor of Education, Indiana University Kokomo, USA

    "Grounded in research and real school experiences, this essential and thought-provoking book challenges the reader to rethink and transform PreK-12 classroom teaching, administration, and schools, especially in high-needs communities. An and Fuentes have gathered varied respected individuals with expertise in working in schools in challenging times and communities to share their research, knowings, encounters, and strategies for addressing digital equity and student learning. By defining and examining the intertwined layers that impact student learning in high-needs communities, this book begins by laying a foundation for exploring student, family, and school needs to inform and support educational systems with an equity and digital lens. While inspired by the disruption and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools and learning, the authors provide practical supports and guidance for PreK-12 teachers, administrators, undergraduate and graduate students in teacher preparation and education programs to renovate and reinvigorate student learning and family supports. With a focus on digital learning, equity, and best pedagogical practices, the authors provide guiding questions in each chapter to frame discussion, inspire action, and effect change in the best interests of students and schools. A must-have book with new and engaging information for anyone interested in impacting high-needs communities."
    —Holly Seplocha, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Teacher Education: PreK-12, College of Education, William Paterson University, USA

    "This edited book provides a unique collection of critical perspectives, policy analyses, organizational innovations, tools and strategies, and valuable lessons on digital learning in high-needs P-12 schools. A wide range of readers, such as policymakers, educators, administrators, educational researchers, and anyone interested in addressing the digital divide will find extremely relevant insights in this book to achieve accessible and equitable learning in high-needs schools. The contributions from twenty-five authors also demonstrate the vision and commitment of the editors to diversity, inclusion, innovation, and collaboration in this timely and needed publication."
    —Ke Zhang, Professor of Learning Design and Technology, College of Education, Wayne State University, USA