In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people enrolling in online courses. According to a report by The Learning House, Inc., enrollment in online courses increased by 10% from 2016 to 2017. While this shift towards remote learning offers many advantages, it also creates new challenges, especially when it comes to addressing inequities. We’ll explore three ways to address inequities in remote learning settings.
Define inequities and remote learning
The great disparities between developed countries and less developed countries have always been a point of discussion in politics, education, sociology, and other fields. It appears that while one-half of the nation has access to broadband internet at high speeds, many do not. Not only is this a problem for home users, but schools and libraries also face daunting odds if they wish to provide public access to the internet.
Many factors contribute to how much one has access to high-speed internet. The first factor is the cost of internet service. This factor alone has caused many Americans to lack access to high-speed internet services. According to a study conducted by Pew Research, 64% of adults living in households with income less than $30,000 per year do not have broadband internet services at home (Lenhart).
This information is especially important for schools and libraries that aim to provide public access to the internet. Many schools and libraries rely on donations, grants. And tax dollars to support their mission of offering free services such as computer use and high-speed internet. However, receiving such funds has become increasingly difficult due to budget cuts by state governments. According to a study conducted by Pew Internet. And American Life Project, 57% of school librarians report having decreased funding for their programs (Lenhart).
The second factor that impacts internet connectivity is the infrastructure required to support high-speed internet. Most places in North America benefit from a large infrastructure that supports high-speed access to information.
Understand the challenges of inequities in remote learning
With an increasing number of learners in the world, the opportunity for online learning is expanding rapidly. Unfortunately, many learners are limited by their access to high-speed internet and technological equipment. Furthermore, there are still major discrepancies across regions when it comes to educational opportunities for rural students.
Various governments have introduced initiatives to increase access to technology in schools. But they frequently require inputs that are beyond the means of local communities.
This imbalance is borne out by figures on internet usage; in 2013, South Korea had 80% penetration of its population over the age of 15. (i.e. with access to digital technology), while Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, had only 10%, despite an equally large. And expanding market of young internet users (Wentzel, 2013).
These numbers indicate that the capacity to enhance educational opportunities through technology is not equally shared across populations. There are often inequalities between urban and rural students about access to institutions and resources; this is particularly true for children of low-income families or those living in remote areas.
Take action to address inequities in remote learning
In a report released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific. And Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Tuesday, it is revealed that girls in remote areas of developing countries remain deprived of their rights to education. So, the report, titled “Inequality in Education: Barriers to Inclusive Education,” highlights inequalities faced by people living in poverty and isolated communities in terms of access to education. So, according to the report, remote learning is an effective method for providing people in these communities with education.
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If you want to take action and address inequities in remote learning, contact our team of experts. We can help your organization with understanding the challenges. That arise from remote learning as well as brainstorming ways to close the gaps between students. So, who are currently succeeding and those who need more support.